TODAY 6


Readings





Here are items from 
the Waldorf Watch "news" page 
beginning in 2018:










August 15, 2018


WHERE WE GO 

WHEN WE SLEEP 


◊ READINGS ◊  



Rudolf Steiner’s followers — including many Waldorf teachers — hold extraordinary beliefs about all sorts of things. These beliefs are the essence of the Waldorf belief system, Anthroposophy. Take sleep, for example. Steiner taught that when a human being sleeps at night, two of the sleepr’s four bodies — the invisible “astral body” and the invisible “I” — rise into the spirit realm to commune with the gods. Meanwhile, the sleeper’s other two bodies — the invisible “ether body” and the visible physical body — remain on Earth, snoozing.  


Steiner once drew a sketch to illustrate the situation. Here is my copy of his sketch, along with Steiner's commentary:





“Here (left) we have the physical body and the ether body (yellow). It fills the whole of the physical body. And here (right) we have the astral body, which is outside the human being at night (red). At the top it is very small and hugely bulging down below. Then we have the I (violet). This is how we are at night. We are two people in the night." — Rudolf Steiner, BLACKBOARD DRAWINGS 1919-1924 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), p. 102. 

All four bodies reunite in the morning, as Steiner indicated by the arrows.


Didn’t you know that humans have four bodies? Anthroposophy is full of such surprises. [1]





You may think that such strange beliefs have no bearing on Waldorf education, but in fact beliefs such as these are common in Waldorf schools. Many Waldorf teachers cherish these beliefs; many are practicing Anthroposophists. Waldorf teachers do not, generally, teach kids Anthroposophical doctrines as intellectual propositions, but they generally strive to condition kids so that they become emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually attuned to Anthroposophy. The hope is that such conditioning will lead the kids to “freely” choose to become full-fledged Anthroposophists when they are adults. [2]


In order to understand the thinking that lies behind Waldorf education today, we should examine recent texts in which Steiner’s followers express and elaborate that thinking for one another. (Only rarely do they publish candid expositions of their beliefs for readers outside their self-enclosed society.) With this in mind, let’s take a brief at a recent book, THE WONDERS OF SLEEP - An Anthroposophical Study. [3] The publisher attests that one of the authors, Richard Sheddon, “has studied anthroposophy for nearly 70 years,” while the other author, Dr. Jean Brown, “worked [for] 25 years as medical adviser in several Steiner Waldorf schools and communities.” [4]







Here is a short excerpt from THE WONDERS OF SLEEP, describing one phase of the sleep cycle as conceived in Anthroposophy. (I have added some explanatory footnotes for readers who may be unfamiliar with Anthroposophy.)



We feel the need for guidance; but this only appears if we have created a bond with Christ [5], who must be conceived here as connected with the life of the sun. [6] … But to take effect in the spirit and soul in freedom [7], he [i.e., Christ] must be able to penetrate the soul whilst independent of the body in sleep.... [8] 


Thus in our ego and astral body we are really one with the life forces of sun and stars. [9] … The Higher Beings [10] who enter into our body [11] at night have their scene of activity generally speaking on the sun…. [12] 


[W]e behold the actions and deeds of the beings of the Hierarchies…. [13] 


While we sleep the soul thus absorbs in spiritland the world of tones…. [14] 


In this deeper dreamless sleep, forces of the astral body reach as far as the starry world…and it [i.e., the astral body] draws its strength from that world. [15] The astral body now reposes in a world where the stars are embedded — the world of the harmony of the spheres.… 


We must ‘feel’ in a concrete way the spiritual world into which we are submerged when we fall asleep; we must feel and know how there lives there what is now happening as a result of the mission entrusted by Christ to Michael…. [16]


— Seddon and Brown, THE WONDERS OF SLEEP, pp. 68-70.


Believe it or not, that is a fairly representative sample of Anthroposophical discourse as it occurs today. Now. In our time. 


And, believe it or not, it is a fairly representative reflection of the thinking that lurks behind the Waldorf movement. Now. In the 21st century.





I have chopped out a lot of excess verbiage from the excerpt, above — look at all the ellipses. How do you now I haven't changed the authors' meaning? (I haven't, but how do you know?) To check on me, you should get a copy of THE WONDERS OF SLEEP and read it yourself. I highly recommend this. There is really no substitute for reading Anthroposophical texts. You will either be won over to the Waldorf point of view, or — more likely — you will stagger away shaking your head.


— R.R.







Waldorf Watch Footnotes



[1] For more on our four bodies, see “Incarnation”.


[2] See, e.g., "Waldorf's Spiritual Agenda".


[3] Richard Seddon and Dr. Jean Brown, THE WONDERS OF SLEEP (Wynstones Press, 2012, reprinted 2015).


[4] See https://www.wynstonespress.com/product.php?productid=17717&page=1.


[5] Anthroposophy places great emphasis on Christ. This creates the impression that Anthroposophy is a form of Christianity. But the differences between Anthroposophy and Christianity are vast. [See, e.g. “Was He Christian?”] The greatest difference has to do with the identity of Christ — a point we will return to in the next footnote.


(Like many Anthroposophical publications, THE WONDERS OF SLEEP is badly written. Here is a clarifying paraphrase of what we have quoted thus far: Human beings feel the need for guidance, but we receive it only after we have made a personal connection with Christ.)


[6] In Anthroposophy, Christ is the Sun God — the same god who has been known under such names as Apollo or Hu. [See “Sun God”.] Christ rules over, and dwells upon, the Sun — he is “connected with the life of the sun.”


[7] Steiner taught that humans have both souls and spirits, and we are evolving toward an unprecedented degree of spiritual freedom. Sometimes, in Anthroposophy, “soul” is used as a designation for the astral body. [See the entries for these various terms — spirit, soul, freedom, astral body — in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]


[8] I.e,, Christ must be able to enter into the higher parts of ourselves while we sleep: He enters into the parts of ourselves that are then in the spirit realm (while we sleep, these parts are "independent of the [physical] body"). The lower parts of ourselves remain below, on Earth.


[9] I.e., the higher parts of ourselves that rise into the spirit realm become united with the cosmos: They become "one with the life forces of sun and stars".


[10] The “Higher Beings” are other gods. Anthroposophy is polytheistic. [See “Polytheism”.] Christ is the most important god for us now, Steiner taught, but many other gods also play roles in our lives.


[11] I.e., the physical body. According to Anthroposophical belief, gods work upon both the higher and lower parts of ourselves while we sleep.


[12] I.e., the gods who work on our physical body dwell chiefly on the Sun. They are subordinate gods, serving Christ the Sun God. (Thus, gods from the Sun minister to our higher parts and our lower parts at night.)


[13] Steiner taught that there are nine ranks of gods, subdivided into three groupings called “Hierarchies.” The “beings of the Hierarchies” are the nine ranks of gods who constitute the three Hierarchies. [See “Polytheism”.]


[14] I.e., while we sleep the higher parts of our being — the parts that have risen into the spirit relam (“spiritland”) — absorb the music of the spheres (the harmonies of the spiritual cosmos).


[15] The “starry world” is the high region of the cosmos where the stars are found, beyond our solar system. Anthroposophy is closely linked to astrology — the influences of the stars and their gods reach us on Earth through astrological influences, or so Anthroposophists believe. [See “Astrology” and “Star Power”.]


[16] Michael is a warrior god. He is the Sun Archangel, who fights on behalf of the Sun God. Steiner taught that Christ has entrusted the supervision of current human evolution to Michael. [See “Michael”.]


(Again, the poor writing in THE WONDERS OF SLEEP can pose challenges. Thus, “there lives there what is now happening” may trip up some readers. The authors are saying that what is happening in the spirit realm now is a reflection of Michael’s mission, which is to assist human spiritual evolution during our current historical epoch.)











June 8, 2018



WALDORF - SUBTLETIES
AND INCARNATIONS 



The key to Waldorf education can be found in the book STUDY OF MAN, a collection of lectures Rudolf Steiner delivered to the teachers at the first Waldorf school. Waldorf teachers today still study this book intensively. Such study is often part of their training to become Waldorf teachers, and it is often part of the continuing study that Waldorf teachers undertake — individually and collectively — throughout their careers.

To aid them in their study, Waldorf Publications has recently put out a book titled ENTRY POINTS - A Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s Study of Man.




[Waldorf Publications, 2017;
edited by Waldorf educator Elan Leibner.]



Because Waldorf teachers make use of this guide, we should peek into it ourselves. Here’s a sample, from early in the book. I have added some footnotes that may help you navigate your way through the Anthroposophical jargon:

“Rudolf Steiner describes that the task of education in the spiritual sense [1] is to bring the Soul-Spirit [2] into harmony with the Life Body. [3] He introduces the terms sentient or astral body [4], etheric body [5], and physical body. Gaining a background in what these terms mean is an essential part of early Waldorf teacher education and needs to be revisited over and over again. Working with these subtle bodies [6] is a bedrock of the Waldorf teacher’s understanding of human development….” — ENTRY POINTS - A Guide to Rudolf Steiner’s Study of Man, edited by Elan Leibner (Waldorf Publications, 2017), p. 17. [7]

This passage contains many intriguing constituents, most obviously the references to "subtle bodies" — the life body, the astral body, and so on. We will get to these. But first let's absorb the overall thesis of the passage. As conceived in the Waldorf movement, correct education in the spiritual sense differs markedly from what most people mean by the word "education." Spiritually correct education (which, from a Waldorf perspective, is Waldorf education itself) does not primarily aim to convey knowledge to children. No, the task of spiritually correct (i.e., Waldorf) education is to help harmonize the Soul-Spirit with the Life Body.

Many people may be surprised to hear this, yet it is an absolutely basic Waldorf premise. Giving kids a real education (teaching them about the real world, equipping them with skills to make their way in the real world) is not a priority in Waldorf schools. Thus, for instance, a leading proponent of Waldorf education has written this: “The success of Waldorf Education...can be measured in the life force attained. Not acquisition of knowledge and qualifications, but the life force is the ultimate goal of this school.” — Peter Selg, THE ESSENCE OF WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2010)‚ p. 30.

Not knowledge. Not qualifications. Not, in other words, education — not as most people understand the word "education," anyway. If you send your children to a Waldorf school expecting them to receive a good preparatory education, you will likely be disappointed. Waldorf schools are concerned with other matters. [8]

To do their work well, Waldorf teachers must comprehend the “subtle bodies” described by Rudolf Steiner. These include the life body (i.e., the etheric body) and the sentient body (i.e., the astral body). These bodies are "subtle" in that they are invisible. To perceive them, you must be clairvoyant. [9]

Waldorf teachers must also understand the concept of the Soul-Spirit. Like the invisible bodies we have mentioned, the Soul-Spirit, too, is subtle — it, too, is invisible except through the use of clairvoyance.

The central question about all of this, of course, is whether any of it is real. Is the "life body" not just "subtle" — is it a mere fantasy? The same goes for the astral body, and the Soul-Spirit, and clairvoyance. Quite possibly none of these things really exists. Yet these are fundamental concepts underpinning Waldorf education. According to ENTRY POINTS (which means, according to Rudolf Steiner), teachers in Waldorf schools are expected to believe in these things. Working with these things is central to the task of education in Waldorf schools — working with these things, and believing in these things, is a central requirement for Waldorf teachers. Teachers in other sorts of schools do not face this requirement, but Waldorf teachers certainly face it. “Working with these subtle bodies is a bedrock of the Waldorf teacher’s understanding of human development….” [10]

In order to meet their Anthroposophical obligations, Waldorf teachers must study, and study again, and study yet again, Rudolf Steiner’s occult preachments. “Gaining a background in what these terms mean is an essential part of early Waldorf teacher education and needs to be revisited over and over again.” Teachers in other sorts of schools do not face this requirement. But this is a fundamental requirement for Waldorf teachers.

We should all let this sink in. This is how true-blue Anthroposophical teachers think, speak, and write about their aims and practices. This is what Waldorf schools are all about.

And here's a troubling thought. If the subtle bodies, and the Soul-Spirit, and clairvoyance are mere fantasies — if they do not exist — then the whole point of Waldorf education is null and void. The efforts of Waldorf teachers to harmonize the subtle bodies with the Soul-Spirit are, in that case, a waste of time and effort. Which means the whole edifice of Waldorf education implodes. There is no truth in the Waldorf approach. It is a waste of time and effort.

This is a troubling thought. And yet it is the truth.






Waldorf Watch Footnotes: 

[1] From the Waldorf perspective, education in the true “spiritual sense” is education based on Rudolf Steiner’s gnostic creed, Anthroposophy. When a Waldorf school is run properly — that is, in accordance with Rudolf Steiner's teachings — then it provides education in the true “spiritual sense” as conceived by Steiner.

[2] This, according to Steiner, is the combined soul and spirit; it is often called the spirit-soul. Steiner taught that a human being has both a soul and a spirit. Your soul is your spiritual identity during one incarnation; your spirit is your eternal spiritual identity, which you carry through all your incarnations. [For further information about the various subjects we are touching on, see the appropriate entries in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia: "soul", "spirit", etc.]

[3] According to Waldorf belief, this is the etheric body; it is an envelope (a body) of formative forces. Technically, harmonizing the Soul-Spirit with the etheric body is the chief goal of Waldorf education only in the early years. Steiner taught that the etheric body incarnates at about age seven. Education before then is largely a preparation for this event, and education immediately afterward is largely a response to this event. Later, attention starts to turn to the astral body, which Steiner said incarnates at about age 14. [See “Incarnation”.]

[4] This is the second of the subtle bodies that children develop, Steiner taught. An envelope or body of soul forces, it incarnates at about age 14. [Again, see “Incarnation”.]

[5] This is the life body, mentioned previously. It is also sometimes called the formative-forces body.

[6] For "subtle", read invisible, gossamer, spiritual. (Steiner often preferred the term "supersensible" — meaning beyond the reach of our ordinary senses.)

[7] STUDY OF MAN has also been published under other titles, such as A GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE HUMAN BEING and THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE. Under the latter title, the book is the first volume in the series Foundations of Waldorf Education, published by the Anthroposophic Press. [See "Oh Humanity".]

[8] Of course, Waldorf schools do not completely disregard education in the regular sense; kids are not utterly ignorant when they graduate from Waldorf schools. But providing a regular education is, at most, a secondary priority at Waldorf schools.

[9] Steiner claimed to be clairvoyant. Most of his spiritual teachings derive from his professed use of clairvoyance. Many of Steiner's followers — including many Waldorf teachers — think that they, too, are clairvoyant. This points to the emptiness at the core of Anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Clairvoyance is a delusion. [See "Clairvoyance".]

[10] Not all Waldorf teachers believe these things. But if we are to take Steiner and Leibner seriously, such teachers probably should not be working in Waldorf schools.

— R.R.









June 2, 2018



WALDORF HIGH SCHOOL 
STEREOTYPES 





[Waldorf Publications, 2016;
edited by David Mitchell.]


Books created by proponents of Waldorf education contain many astonishments. Even when such book are meant to make Waldorf seem sensible and admirable, they may present modes of thought that, upon reflection, may cause you to goggle.

Let's look at a recent book, published by a Waldorf educational association, that includes a year-by-year account of children in high school. In it, you may find a problem we have seen before: The Waldorf tendency to stereotype children.


"Astral Storm Coming In: The Ninth Grader [1]

"…Teenagers of this age are by their very nature extremists, swinging from giddiness to depression, from dreamy unwareness to acute attention with the space of seconds. However, it is important to differentiate between boys and girls at this age … The girls come into ninth grade ready to dive into and share their burgeoning inner world, while the boys seem somewhat bewildered by all the changes they are undergoing. [2] ... Ninth-grade boys can appear to be crude dullards when compared to their female counterparts, by whom they are often dwarfed, sometimes in stature as well as in sheer, overpowering emotional intensity.…" [3]

— Waldorf teacher David Sloan, “Waldorf and Adolescence”, WALDORF EDUCATION - An Introduction for Parents (Waldorf Publications, 2016), pp. 57-58.



"The Temptations of the World: The Tenth Grader

"It is not hyperbole to say that dramatic, even radical change takes place between the freshman and sophomore years [4] ... [S]ophomores often return to school in the autumn much fuller of themselves ... Instead of seeing them as neophytes flailing about in the aforementioned ninth-grade swamp [sic], we might picture them as self-assured crew members of a sleep, Greek sailing ship [5] ... They seem more comfortable with themselves ... Yet we teachers have noticed another pattern ... Perhaps it can be traced to this newfound confidence that can border on brazenness. Whatever the reason, many sophomores go 'overboard' ... They get themselves in some kind of trouble — with drugs, sex, stealing, lying.... [6]"

— David Sloan, “Waldorf and Adolescence”, WALDORF EDUCATION, pp. 58-59.



"The Dark Night of the Soul: The Eleventh Grader

"What happens to eleventh graders? Why do so many...find themselves stricken by a malaise that can be termed a 'dark night of the soul'? [7] ... During this dark night of the soul, it seems clear that eleventh graders suffer. One of the ways this manifests is as a deeply felt crisis of confidence ... Yet I really tried to resist the impulse to somehow make these students' struggles less difficult and less painful. Cruel as this sounds, all the angst in the eleventh grade may be both inevitable and, in a certain way, even desirable." [8]

— David Sloan, “Waldorf and Adolescence”, WALDORF EDUCATION, pp. 59-61.



"At the Grand Threshold: The Twelfth Grader

"...As contracted and broody as eleventh graders can get, seniors [i.e., twelfth graders] often seem to acquire a new dimension ... They stand poised on a great threshold, straddling both the world of the school that they are rapidly outgrowing and the larger world they can't wait to take by storm ... Their vision seems to broaden as their thinking deepens ... These suddenly larger souls grapple daily with...the challenge, for example, of how both to express their ever-strengthening individuality on the one hand and at the same time to live in community. And they have a passionate yearning for a new brotherhood of humanity that transcends ethnic and national boundaries. [9]"

— David Sloan, “Waldorf and Adolescence”, WALDORF EDUCATION, pp. 61-62.





Waldorf Watch Footnotes:


[1] Steiner’s doctrines often lead Waldorf teacher to stereotype children. Is there really such a thing as the ninth grader (singular)? Or aren’t there many, many — an infinitude — of different kinds of ninth graders (plural)? The answer should be obvious. Human variation is nearly limitless. Yet Waldorf teachers often speak and write of the three-year-old child, the fourth-grader, the ninth-grader, and so on.

As for the "astral storm" — this is a tangential reference to the astral body. ["Steiner termed our feeling, or soul, life as the astral body." —Sloan, p. 57.] Steiner taught that three invisible bodies incarnate during childhood. The second of these is the astral body, which incarnates around age 14. [See "Incarnation".] Kids in the ninth grade — about 13 years old — stand at the brink of this momentous event. Or so Rudolf Steiner said.

[2] Waldorf teachers recognize that there are differences between children, of course. One difference concerns gender. But on this important subject, Steiner’s doctrines can lead toward sexism. [See “Gender”.] Is it really possible to say that all ninth-grade girls are “ready to dive into and share their burgeoning inner world” and that all ninth-grade boys are (or seem) “somewhat bewildered by all the changes they are undergoing”? This is just another, more focused form of stereotyping. The individuality of students tends to disappear in such stereotypes.

[3] Sloan takes a little of the sting out of this statement, saying that male ninth graders "can appear" to be louts. Nonetheless, the stereotyping nearly leaps off the page. And so does the negativity of the stereotyping. Thinking about children in these ways, slotting them in categories such as "the ninth grader" of "the ninth-grade boy" — that "crude dullard" — is invidious and potentially hurtful. It is wrong.

[4] Again, a we find gross generalization being offered here. The tenth grader has undergone a "radical change." (Fundamentally, in Waldorf belief, this change involves the incarnation of the astral body, which — Steiner said — occurs around this time, when a child is about 14 years old.)

[5] I.e., ancient Greek. In Waldorf belief, children move — more or less in lockstep — along a trajectory causing them to recapitulate the cultural evolution of humanity as a whole. [See, e.g., "Out in the Open".] High school sophomores have risen pretty high on this trajectory, but they still have a long way to go.

[6] Because their thinking often includes categories and concepts propounded by Steiner, Waldorf teachers may fall into the trap of seeing only what they expect to see. Yes, many high school sophomores may get into trouble. But the same is true of many high school freshmen, and many seventh graders, and many fourth graders, and many kids (and adults) of all ages. What Sloan says here (the tenth grader often goes overboard) is essentially meaningless, since the same is true of people of all ages. Sloan's statement is null, except in terms of the false distinctions laid out in Anthroposophical theorizing.

Sloan goes on to acknowledge that some kids "fall" before or after tenth grade, but he claims that "the general tendency is for this to happen, if it happens at all, in the student's sophomore year." [p. 59.] This is prejudicial stereotyping. Tarring eleventh graders are being particularly prone to "drugs, sex, stealing, lying" is surely unfair. And if Waldorf teachers except students of a certain age to be especially prone to these errors, their thinking may be biased and damaging to the kids in their charge.

[7] The term "dark night of the soul" is often used to refer to the torment of a spiritual seeker or mystic who has lost any assurance of spiritual consolation. By extension, the term may also refer to a loss of faith in God. Eleventh graders may certainly go through such a period of doubt and soul-searching. But so may people of virtually any age. A thoughtful child of six may have deep, despairing thoughts. An elder approaching death may be tormented by spiritual doubt. Any human, at any age beyond earliest childhood, may have a dark night of the soul. Saying that eleventh graders are particularly prone to this condition is an unfounded generalization. It is another instance of Anthroposophical stereotyping.

[8] The Waldorf belief system is fatalistic. Kids move along a predetermined trajectory, and they do so in fulfillment of karma. Importing the concept from Eastern religions, Steiner taught that each human has a self-created karma that must be played out. [See "Karma".] Preventing people from fulfilling their karmas is almost always wrong, Steiner indicated. So, if eleventh graders are in pain — tough. As Sloan writes, "[A]ll the angst...may be both inevitable and, in a certain way, even desirable." So a Waldorf teacher should "resist the impulse to somehow make these students' struggles less difficult and less painful." Sloan is correct that this may seem cruel. More than that, it may actually be cruel. If an adult can ease a child's suffering, surely s/he should do so.

[9] This is indeed how Waldorf teachers often want to think of their work — this is the triumphant end of Waldorf education, as they conceive it. Yet is it anything more than wishful thinking? There is clearly an element of magical thinking it in. Seniors "suddenly" become self-assured and eager to "take [the world] by storm." They possess "ever-strengthening individuality" as well as strong social consciences (they yearn for "a new brotherhood of humanity that transcends ethnic and national boundaries"). Waldorf education must surely be praised if this is what it produces. But let's pause a moment. Is true individuality likely to come out of an education that so consistently stereotypes children, thereby suppressing individuality? And is an enlightened social conscience likely to come out of an education that has roots in occult racism? [See "Steiner's Racism" and "Embedded Racism".]

Some children certainly thrive in Waldorf schools. But others certainly are harmed. [See "Who Gets Hurt?"] And even the self-confidence that fortunate Waldorf students develop may prove unfounded. [See "Mistreating Kids Lovingly".] The unrealistic generalizing — in a word, the stereotyping — found in the text we have been examining does not provide much assurance that Waldorf education will be successful, even according to its own lights.

— R.R.









July 27, 2018



SEEING BEYOND 

(I.E., FOOLING YOURSELF)  



Waldorf schools typically acknowledge that their educational approach is based on Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy. [1] But they rarely explain in any detail what Anthroposophy is. Often, they deflect questions by referring to the Greek roots of the word "anthroposophy": anthro, human, and sophy, wisdom. Anthroposophy is human wisdom. Who could possibly object to that?


The truth, however, is rather different. Anthroposophy as conceived and developed by Rudolf Steiner is in fact a new-age religion. It is a system of occult, mystical, pagan beliefs. [2]


The practice of Anthroposophy entails prayers, meditations, and other activities common to most religions. But it also centers on the attempt to develop clairvoyance in order to gain "objective," "scientific" knowledge of the spirit realm. Steiner prescribed numerous mental/spiritual exercises intended to help his followers develop their clairvoyant powers. [3]


This brings us to the great problem for Anthroposophy — the fatal flaw in Anthroposophy: Clairvoyance is a fantasy. As far as anyone actually knows, clairvoyance does not exist. [4] For this essential reason, none of Steiner's exercises works. The core of Anthroposophy is hollow; people who embrace Anthroposophy are unwittingly engaged in a process of self-deception. [5]


Despite the futility of their efforts, Anthroposophists today continue striving to become as wonderfully perceptive as Steiner claimed to be. They continue to perform the exercises he prescribed, and they continue to spin variations on the themes he developed. A new book from the Rudolf Steiner Press continues in this tradition.





OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET - 

Practical Exercises for Perceiving Soul and Spirit

(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2018),

by Roger Druitt.



Author Roger Druitt offers various exercises that, he says, will enable us to "perceive" invisible essences and entities, including soul and spirit. [6] Druitt refers to clairvoyance as a reality [7], but he claims that his exercises enable us to attain high powers of perception that stop short of that highest form of "seeing." Like Steiner, he argues that ordinary perception and ordinary thought, when properly refined and directed, will enable us to reach the outermost bounds of purely physical perception. So, for instance, he writes:


"Our eyes see the flow of water downstream but another sense perceives the flow of form upstream. This perception is the result of the interplay of [the] senses of sight, movement and thought and takes us to the edge of physical sense perception." — Roger Druitt, OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET, p. 47.


Steiner taught that we have 12 senses, including the senses of "movement" and "thought." [8] Here, Druitt claims that by sharpening these senses, we can look beyond the merely physical (e.g., water flowing downstream) to observe realities that would otherwise be imperceptible (e.g., the flow of "form" upstream). Such perception takes us to the tremulous verge of clairvoyance itself. [9]


The vacuity of Druitt's work is suggested by the psuedo-phenomena he affirms. Steiner taught that, ultimately, there are really just four fundamental "elements." These are earth, air, fire, and water. These four elements are expressions of four forms of "ether." Or, at a deeper level, we can recognize that the four elements are the outward expression of invisible "elemental beings": gnomes, who dwell within earth; sylphs, who dwell within air; fire-spirits, who dwell within fire; and undines, who dwell within water. You may recognize these conceptions as antiquated fallacies. Steiner affirmed them a century ago, and Druitt affirms them now, in the second decade of the 21st century.

Druitt's instructions, like Steiner's, lead toward delusion, not reality. The promised "secret of nature" is illusory. Here is Druitt endorsing Steiner's erroneous teachings:

"A point of entry into this world of glimpsing the ether...is to observe light ... After gaining some familiarity with these exercises, a clear difference in each direction and each light source is discerned ... There will gradually be sensed the qualities of earth, water, air and fire ... These four elemental qualities each signal one of the four etheric forces...warmth ether, light ether, chemical or tone ether...and life ether." — OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET, pp. 49-50.

"There is a wealth of material in Anthroposophy about all this...how the elements of Nature work in different substances and in the traditional elements of Earth (all that is solid), Air (all that breathes), Fire (the heat that permeates everything as an entity of itself...) and Water (all that flows). Out of all this one can speak of 'elemental' beings as those that typically 'are' the processes within one or the other of these elements...."  — OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET, p. 7.

"The moist earth where [a plant's] seeds germinate and the roots grow...is the domain of the elemental beings of the earth, the gnomes. The region of moist air where the leaves unfold...is the domain of water beings or undines, nymphs. That of warm air is the place of sylphs or air sprites who serve the blossoms ... Lastly, the concentrations of fire and light within the blossom...give a home to the fire spirits or fire sprites...." — OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET, p. 88.

Gnomes. Nymphs. Sylphs. Fire sprites.


Finding truth in the occult beliefs of Anthroposophy — discerning such things as "form" flowing upstream or "gnomes" laboring among the roots of plants — depends on self-deception. It depends on leaving the real world and entering the realm of fantasy and myth, the realm of fairy tales and fables. It depends, ultimately, on mistaking the imagined cosmos of myth and fairy tale for the real world of rational perception and comprehension. We might hope that today, in the 21st century, few if any adults would make this profound error. Yet this error, misconceived as Truth — or as "Nature's Secret" — is inherent in Anthroposophy.

We should give the final word to the founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. Here is one of the "factual" statements Steiner made about gnomes (aka "goblins"):

“There are beings that can be seen with clairvoyant vision at many spots in the depths of the earth ... If you dig into the metallic or stony ground you find beings which manifest at first in remarkable fashion ... They seem able to crouch close together in vast numbers, and when the earth is laid open they appear to burst asunder ... Many names have been given to them, such as goblins, gnomes and so forth ... What one calls moral responsibility in man is entirely lacking in them ... Their nature prompts them to play all sorts of tricks on man....” — Rudolf Steiner, NATURE SPIRITS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1995), pp. 62-63.

Sadly, the trick played on Anthroposophists is the trick they play on themselves. It is the trick of believing Steiner's falsehoods.



◊ • ◊

Waldorf Watch Footnotes:

[1] See, e.g., "Spiritual Agenda" and "Soul School".


[3] See "Knowing the Worlds".

[4] See "Clairvoyance".


[6] Steiner differentiated between soul and spirit; see the entries for these terms in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

[7] See, e.g., OBSERVING NATURE'S SECRET, p. 31. Druitt says we should not take clairvoyant reports as "revelation," but we can learn from them "if we follow them with thought, taking care to avoid any nebulous mysticism." Steiner's teachings, we may infer, are not "nebulous." Indeed, Steiner claimed to employ "exact clairvoyance."  [See "Exactly".] Steiner's clairvoyant reports are, for Anthroposophists, virtually beyond dispute. We may confirm them using our own "authority," Druitt says — "we find our way there and independently through observation and thinking."

[8] See "What We're Made Of". Other senses named by Steiner include the senses of life, balance, and speech. None of these is confirmed by modern science. In fact, Steiner had mystical reasons for designating 12 senses. He considered 12 to be a magical number; he associated it with, among other things, the signs of the zodiac and the number of Christ's apostles. [See "Magic Numbers".] 

"Perception" that depends on nonexistent senses is, in reality, not perception at all. It is a form of imaginative fantasy. In this, it is scarcely distinguishable from clairvoyance, which is equally a form of imaginative fantasy.

[9] According to Steiner, the ultimate purpose of Anthroposophical mental/spiritual exercises — including those that may seem to have no connection to clairvoyance — is clairvoyance. And, Steiner added, the spiritual aspirant must follow the instructions given by Steiner himself; other instructions may destroy the aspirant's health and morals. Steiner described the proper path in some detail. The aspirant slowly activates inner spiritual organs, occultly designated lotus flowers. "Now, when the student begins his exercises, the lotus flowers become more luminous; later on they begin to revolve. When this occurs, clairvoyance begins ... The regulation of the [specified] activities of the soul in the manner described causes the sixteen-petalled lotus to shine in glorious hues, and imparts to it a definite movement. Yet it must be noted that the faculty of clairvoyance cannot make its appearance before a definite degree of development of the soul has been reached ... The first traces of clairvoyance only appear when he [i.e., the aspirant] has reached the point of being able to live in the specified way ... Now this lotus flower may be made to develop in another way by following certain other instructions. But all such methods are rejected by true spiritual science, for they lead to the destruction of physical health and to moral ruin. They are easier to follow than those here described. The latter, though protracted and difficult, lead to the true goal and cannot but strengthen morally." — Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1947), pp. 133-143.

— R.R.








January 4, 2018



MORE ON 
WALDORF GNOMES, ETC.



Now featured by — and available from — Waldorf Publications:





Eric G. Müller, THE INVISIBLE BOAT AND THE MOLTEN DRAGON
(Waldorf Publications, 2017)



From the publisher:


Ever wonder about the living beings who drive the wild untamable fires in the west? Here is a tale that makes pictures for us all of the powerful beings driving such natural events forward! These are important pictures to draw us closer to nature in a different way from our ordinary thinking.

The children who helped the elemental world to clean the water and release the water sprites from the Binagatorials in The Invisible Boat I, are called upon once more in this tale of suspense and adventure to help our living earth to tame the Molten Fire Dragon. Using their invisible boat, a gift from the beings of the earth and their grandfather, they navigate to the place of most need on the planet — the center of the raging fires in the West. The gnomes of earth show themselves only to those whom they can trust not to dismiss them as imaginary....

...This wonder-filled tale helps us all — youngsters in particular — to understand the earth as a living organism....

The book is for good readers from grade four up to adults and is an excellent read-aloud story for children of seven years and older.






Waldorf Watch Response:

Waldorf Publications, headquartered in Chatham, NY, developed out of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA). It is an official, or at least semi-official, organ of the Waldorf movement.

Concerning the "living earth": Rudolf Steiner taught that the Earth is a living organism that breathes in and out as the seasons change. [See, e.g., the Waldorf Watch "news" item for Christmas Day, 2017.] Steiner urged Waldorf teachers to convey belief in the living earth to their students. He told them to say things such as this to the kids:


"Just think, children, our Earth feels and experiences everything that happens within it ... [I]t has feelings like you have, and can be angry or happy like you.” — Rudolf Steiner, DISCUSSIONS WITH TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 132.

The Gaia hypothesis — belief that the earth and its environment constitute a single living organism — is an attractive idea, and many people today are drawn to it. But Steiner's version arose from his mystical beliefs, not from modern ecological consciousness. His "living earth" is a fantastical place thronging with gnomes, sylphs, undines, and fire spirits — invisible "nature spirits." [See "Neutered Nature".] It is a place that comes to us out of fairy tales, not out of science. And, indeed, Steiner taught that fairy tales are true.

“Fairy tales are never thought out [i.e., invented]; they are the final remains of ancient clairvoyance, experienced in dreams by human beings who still had the power. What was seen in a dream was told as a story — for instance, 'Puss in Boots' ... All the fairy tales in existence are thus the remnants of the original clairvoyance.” — Rudolf Steiner, ON THE MYSTERY DRAMAS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1983), p. 93.

Puss in Boots, forsoooth. [See "Fairy Tales".]

On the other hand, Steiner sometimes indicated that the Earth has now died.

"[T]he earth is a huge human head, indeed, a huge, dead human head. [sic]" — Rudolf Steiner, FROM CRYSTALS TO CROCODILES (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002, p. 149.

Steiner's tendency to contradict himself (caused, perhaps, by his inability to keep his stories straight) is a complication for his followers.

As for dragons: Steiner informed Waldorf teachers that fire-breathing dragons (a type of dinosaur) once roamed the earth. Really.

"Yes, those beasts, they did breathe fire ... What I am referring to are the dinosaurs from the beginning of the Tertiary Period." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 26.

Tellingly, when Steiner said such things to Waldorf teachers, very few of them leaped up, shouting "This is insane! Let me out of here!" No, by all indications, they sat quietly and absorbed the great man's wisdom. They believed him, in other words, just as many Waldorf teachers today continue to believe him.

[For more of the startling things Steiner said to Waldorf teachers and others, see, e.g., "Steiner's Blunders" and "Faculty Meetings". Concerning "ancient clairvoyance": Steiner taught that people used to have natural psychic powers that we have now, generally, lost. But he offered to show his followers how to attain a new, heightened form of clairvoyance. See "Knowing the Worlds". This is, indeed, the central promise of Anthroposophy, the belief system that forms the basis of Waldorf schooling. See, e.g., "Here's the Answer".]

— R.R.










January 23, 2018



WALDORF'S PIPELINE
TO THE GODS 






CREATING A CIRCLE OF COLLABORATIVE SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP 
(Pedagogical Section Council of North America, 
Waldorf Press, 2014), 
edited by Roberto Trostli 



Having lofty motives can sometimes be a dangerous thing.

Waldorf faculties often think they are serving the gods. This would be fine, if the gods they believe in actually exist, and if they really know what those gods intend. But if not, then Waldorf schools may be operating under a dangerous form of delusion. In either case, you should know what true-belieiving Waldorf teachers truly believe.

Consider the following quotation from a recent book put out by a Waldorf teachers' council:

"If the College [of Teachers] is to be a true spiritual community bound by spiritual idealism, its members need to work in a way that attracts spiritual beings to participate in its tasks." — Waldorf teacher Roberto Trostli, CREATING A CIRCLE OF COLLABORATIVE SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP (Waldorf Publications, 2014), p. 43.

The "college of teachers" at a typical Waldorf school is the central committee, the group that calls most of the shots in the school. The members are, usually, Waldorf teachers who are committed to Anthroposophy (Rudolf Steiner's spiritual teachings) or who are headed in that direction.

The "spiritual beings" whom Waldord teachers try to engage are gods. They are the spirits Steiner meant when he said this to Waldorf teachers:

"Among the faculty, we must certainly carry within us the knowledge that we are not here for our own sakes, but to carry out the divine cosmic plan. We should always remember that when we do something, we are actually carrying out the intentions of the gods, that we are, in a certain sense, the means by which that streaming down from above will go out into the world." — Waldorf founder Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER — Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 55.

Waldorf schools are religious institutions, and their religion (their "spiritual idealism") is Anthroposophy. Waldorf spokespeople usually deny these things. They deny them to outsiders, and sometimes they even deny them to themselves. But consider the words we have seen just now. The central committee of a Waldorf school wants to be "a true spiritual community," a "circle of spiritual leadership" that "attracts spiritual beings to participate in its tasks." It wants to "carry out the divine cosmic plan." In other words, it wants to "carry out the intentions of the gods."

A true-blue Anthroposophical Waldorf school is a religious institution. And it is run by religious zealots — people who think they are "the means by which that streaming down from above [i.e., the gods' beneficence] will go out into the world.” This is powerful stuff. Potentially, it is powerfully worrisome. Do the gods of Anthroposophy really exist? (Steiner said there are scads of them, arrayed in nine ranks.) And do Waldorf teachers really understand the gods' will (the gods' "divine cosmic plan")? True-believing Waldorf teachers think the answer to both questions is yes.

Consider the enormous authority Waldorf teachers think they wield as a result. They think they work hand-in-hand with gods. They think they are the earthly representatives of those gods. They think they have divine sanction for their work. They think that opposing them or even questioning them means lining up in opposition to the gods.






How should teachers at a Waldorf school conduct their meetings, in order to induce the gods "to participate" in the school's "tasks"? The teachers should conduct strange religious rituals:

"[A] 'cultus' or true ritual is an earthly reflection of something we have experienced in the spiritual world before birth. When we participate in a ritual together, we feel a connection with those who are participating with us because we have common cosmic memories ... [An important] foundation for community is what Rudolf Steiner terms the 'reverse cultus' or 'reverse ritual' ... While a ritual bring the supersensible down into the physical world through words and actions, the reverse ritual raises earthly deeds into the supersensible realm [i.e., the spirit realm]... The reverse ritual is the crux of College work. When a meeting achieves the reverse ritual, spiritual beings receive an offering...that is akin to the blessing we receive when we partake of a sacrament." — Roberto Trostli, CREATING A CIRCLE OF COLLABORATIVE SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP, pp. 43-45.

A "reverse ritual," in its crudest form, is a ritual conducted in reverse order. Thus, for instance, Steiner sometimes recited The Lord's Prayer in reverse order and with altered wording. (Instead of addressing "Our Father who art in heaven," Steiner addressed "Ye Fathers [i.e., gods] in the heavens.")

At a higher level, a reverse ritual is a spiritual ceremony in which the flow of beneficence is reversed — instead of streaming down from above, it rises from the Earth to the divine regions above.

We don't need to unpack all of the strange religious beliefs entailed in Trostli's statements. It is sufficient, for now, simply to recognize the obvious reality: Trostli is talking about religious ceremonies conducted by the central committee of teachers at the heart of a Waldorf school. He is telling us (even if he would likely deny it) that a Waldorf school is a religious institution, and its religion is Anthroposophy.






Parents who want to send their children to Waldorf schools should certainly be free to do so. But they really should understand what sort of school they are choosing for their beloved daughters and sons.

[To learn a bit about the gods of Anthroposophy, see "Polytheism". To learn a bit about the religious nature of Anthroposophy, see "Is Anthroposophy a Religion?" To delve into reverse rituals as prescribed by Rudolf Steiner, see the book REVERSE RITUAL - Spiritual Knowledge Is True Communion, by Rudolf Steiner and Friedrich Benesch (Anthroposophic Press, 2001). To read Steiner's reverse Lord's Prayer, see "Soul School - Religion and More in Waldorf Schools".]

— R.R.












February 5, 2018,



THE GROUND 
WALDORF TEACHERS 
STAND UPON 




Waldorf schools are religious institutions.

Spokespeople for the schools usually deny this, yet it is certainly true.

The Waldorf religion bears some resemblance to Christianity, since it places great importance on Christ. [1] But the Waldorf religion also bears considerably resemblance to Hinduism, since it is polytheistic and incorporates such doctrines as karma and reincarnation. [2] Traces of other faiths, such as Zoroastrianism, are also present. [3] But fundamentally, the Waldorf religion is distinct and separate from other religions — it is Anthroposophy. [4]

Because public statements put out by Waldorf schools are often misleading [5], we can get a clearer understanding of the Waldorf movement by studying publications meant primarily for internal use within the Waldorf community. Here is a revealing passage from such a publication. It makes Waldorf’s religious nature quite clear. (The passage tells of an event occurring almost 100 years ago, but it asserts the relevance of that event for Waldorf teachers today.)


“On September 9, 1919, Rudolf Steiner gathered together the first twelve Waldorf teachers for the first time. He gave the teachers a means for making connection with the spiritual world. [6] He said to them, ‘In the evening before your meditation [7], ask the angels, archangels, and archai [8] that they may help you in your work the following day.’ [9] He was asking them to open themselves in such a way that spiritual substance [10] could pour itself into their soul beings: into their will, their feeling and their thinking. [11] In doing this, the basis for imagination, inspiration, and intuition is created. [12] Then Rudolf Steiner shook each teacher’s hand and looked deep into his eyes, as if sealing a sacred pledge. We, too, must take this pledge; it is the ground on which we stand as Waldorf educators. This is the wellspring of strength of which we stand so in need.” — Louise deForest in THE JOURNEY OF THE "I" INTO LIFE (Waldorf Early Childhood Association on North America, 2012), p. 17. [13]


Note that THE JOURNEY OF THE "I" INTO LIFE was published by a Waldorf teachers' association, the Waldorf Early Childhood Association on North America (WECAN). It was published recently, in the 21st century, and it lays out “the ground on which we stand as Waldorf educators.” That ground is the religion called Anthroposophy.

— R.R








THE JOURNEY OF THE "I" INTO LIFE -
A Final Destination or a Path Toward Freedom?
Lectures from the 2012 International Waldorf 
Early Childhood Conference at the Goetheanum [14]
(Waldorf Early Childhood Association on North America, 2012)






Footnotes provided by Roger Rawlings


[1] In Anthroposophy, unlike Christianity, Christ is the Sun God — the same god who has been known by such names as Hu and Apollo. [See "Sun God".]

[2] See "Polytheism", "Karma", and "Reincarnation.

[3] See, e.g., "Ahriman".

[4] See "Is Anthroposopjhy a Religion?"

[5] See, e.g., "Secrets".

[6] This activity — seeking to make "connection with the spiritual world" — is the essence of religious practice.

[7] Anthroposophy entails many meditations and prayers, most of which were written by Steiner. [See, e.g., "Power Words" and "Prayers".]

[8] In Anthroposophy, these are three ranks of gods. They are also known by the more "accurate" titles Steiner gave them: Sons of Twilight, Spirits of Fire, and Spirits of Personality. [See "Polytheism".]

[9] The Waldorf teachers “ask” these gods for something. In other words, they pray to these gods. Significantly, the request centers on the teacher’s “work” — that is, the tasks Waldorf teachers undertake in and around Waldorf schools.

[10] I.e., the essence of spiritual reality, the substance of the higher worlds — the gods' beneficence.

[11] See the entry for "thinking-feeling-willing" in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.

[12] In the Waldorf movement, as in Anthroposophy generally, these are three stages of preparation for clairvoyance and/or they are three forms of clairvoyance. [See the entries for "imagination", "inspiration", "intuition", and "clairvoyance" in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

[13] Lousie deForest is a WECAN board member. Her lecture was titled "Our Children: Our Guides Toward Becoming Truly Human". THE JOURNEY OF THE "I" INTO LIFE includes lectures by four other Anthroposophists.

[14] The Goetheanum is the international headquarters of the Anthroposophical movement. A large structure designed by Steiner, it is essentially a cathedral. [See "Is Anthroposopjhy a Religion?"]










February 8, 2018,



WALDORF, SPIRIT, 
AND DOCTRINES 




Many families are drawn to Waldorf schools because of the spirituality found within. This spirituality is usually quite apparent, even though Waldorf spokesfolks almost always deny that Waldorf education is religious.

To sample Waldorf spirituality, we can consult various internal Waldorf publications. Here are a few excepts from ONE, TWO, THREE! — A collection of Songs, Verse, Riddles, and Stories for Children of Grades 1-3, compiled by sometime Waldorf teacher David Adams.

Young children at Waldorf schools are immersed in an atmosphere of Anthroposophical religious doctrines, as is suggested by the following excepts from the latest, revised version of the book (released by Waldorf Publications in 2017).









[Waldorf Publications, 2017.]






"Sword of Michael [1], brightly gleaming,
Down to earth its light is streaming...."

— from "Michaelmas Verse", ONE, TWO, THREE!, p. 13.




"The speech of the stars [2]
Bright and lucid rings,
Fashions stars of ice
In the architecture of snow.... [3]"

— from "Winter Wisdom" [4], ONE, TWO, THREE!, p. 13.




"Spirit within and spirit without,
Spirit in Nature round about [5],
Spirit that weaves through everything,
Thanks and praise to you we bring. [6]"

— from "Evening Table Grace", ONE, TWO, THREE!, p. 15.




"God so bright in heaven above,
Thank you for your boundless love ...
Now send your angel, shining bright,
To stand beside me through the night...."

— from "Bedtime Prayer" [7], ONE, TWO, THREE!, p. 15.






Waldorf Watch Notes:

[1] It is striking that Michael appears so early in this anthology of material meant for young children. In Anthroposophy, the archangel Michael is a warrior god (hence the verse refers to Michael's sword). Michael is the Archangel of the Sun, the champion of Christ the Sun God. [See "Michael" and "Sun God".] According to Waldorf belief, Michael has particular importance to humanity now — Steiner said Michael currently oversees human spiritual evolution (hence the verse describes Michael's light streaming down to us). Young children at Waldorf schools are rarely taught Anthroposophical doctrines in detail, but they are often exposed to stories, poems, skits, and so forth, that make these doctrines generally familiar. Michael the spiritual warrior is a familiar figure for many Waldorf students, even the youngest ones.

[2] In what sense do the stars speak? Not audibly, of course; perhaps not literally. But in Waldorf belief, the astrological influences of the stars are extremely important. [See "Waldorf Astrology."] Anthroposophy is polytheistic, and many gods are believed to reside within or near various stars and planets. [See "Polytheism".] Steiner said that these gods send their influence down to us; they do so, in a sense, by speaking their spiritual intentions, thereby shaping the reality of our lives on Earth. (Hence, the "speech of the stars" shapes what we see around us in winter — it "fashions stars of ice," snowflakes.)

[3] Note that the language in this poem is hardly appropriate for young children. "Speech of the stars," "lucid," "fashions", "architecture" — these are not words that come naturally from the mouths of young children. But true-believing Waldorf teachers, in their enthusiasm for their Anthroposophical beliefs, often seem to forget themselves. [To delve into Anthroposophical beliefs about language, see "Oh My Word".]

[4] In Waldorf belief, all four seasons of the year are imbued with spiritual wisdom. Seasonal festivals are often celebrated at Waldorf schools, marking in turn each season and its spiritual essence as conceived in Anthroposophy. [See the section on seasonal festivals in "Magical Arts".]

[5] Anthroposophy verges on pantheism — it holds that spirit infuses virtually everything (spirit within, spirit without). Nature is believed to reflect the beneficence of many gods, as we have seen. Nature is also believed to be the domain of invisible presences that stand below the rank of gods — these are "nature spirits," otherwise known as "elemental beings." The four main types of nature spirits are gnomes, sylphs, undines, and fire spirits. Young Waldorf students are often told tales about these beings, especially gnomes. [See "Neutered Nature" and "Gnomes".]

[6] This is a prayer addressed to the "Spirit in Nature", the "Spirit that weaves through everything." You may interpret this in various ways, but you should have no doubt that, in verses like this, Waldorf students are being taught to pray. [See "Prayers".] Teaching kids prayers in school would be inexplicable if Waldorf schools were not religious institutions. But, in fact, Waldorf schools arereligious institutions, as the teaching of prayers reflects. [See "Schools as Churches".]

[7] Here a Waldorf "verse" is quite explicitly identified as a prayer. Significantly, it is a prayer meant to be recited after school hours. Waldorf faculties are often eager to extend their spiritual influence into students' homes, prescribing spiritual activities to be undertaken there. To make this more acceptable to students' parents, the specified activities are usually stripped of any overtly Anthroposophical terminology. Thus, this prayer is addressed to "God," and it asks Him to send a guardian angel to protect the sleeping child. Few parents, especially in monotheistic cultures, would object to this. You may want to know, however, that in Anthroposophy there is no One and Only God such as is worshipped in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. [See "God".] Instead, Anthroposophists believe that there are nine ranks of gods arrayed under the nebulous Godhead. Angels are gods of the lowest rank, and indeed each Angel is assigned to oversee a single human being. Archangels (such as Michael) are gods of the second rank — they oversee groups of humans such as families, nations, and races. Archai are gods of the third rank — they oversee epochs of human spiritual evolution. And so on; Anthroposophy identifies nine ranks of gods along with their responsibilities. But the familiar words we have been using ("God," "angel," etc.) are somewhat misleading. Steiner said that the more accurate designations for the nine types of gods are these, going from lowest to highest: Sons of Twilight, Spirits of Fire, Spirits of Personality, Spirits of Form, Spirits of Movement, Spirits of Wisdom, Spirits of Will, Spirits of Harmony, and Spirits of Love. [See the entries for these various gods, under their various designations, in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.] Of course, Waldorf students are rarely taught these things explicitly, and much of this is kept hidden from students' parents.

— R.R.










February 16, 2018,



◊ ANTHROPOSOPHICAL WISDOM ◊


THE WALDORF WATCH
NO-COMMENT DEPARTMENT


SEVEN METALS,
SEVEN PLANETS







From a new Anthroposophical book about children’s health:






[SteinerBooks, 2017.]



“Rudolf Steiner concluded that the human being is a sevenfold metal. This is certainly a new way of looking at the human constitution…but [it is] no less profound.

“…Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophic research shows that all four members of the human being [the physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies] are penetrated by influences of the seven major planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon [sic] … If one looks at basic anatomic representation, one can associate the bony structure with Saturn; the nerves with Jupiter; the respiratory tract with Mars; the hearts and cardiovascular system with the Sun; the kidneys with Venus; the intestinal tract with Mercury; and finally the reproductive tract with the Moon….

“The seven planets are associated with their own characteristic metals…


1. Moon — silver…

2. Mercury — mercury...

3. Venus — copper…

4. Sun — gold…

5. Mars — iron…

6. Jupiter — tin…

7. Saturn — lead….


“[T]he seven planets work through the seven metals in the human body….

“Understanding the seven metals…is particularly important for [treating] children.”


— Ross Rentea, MD, Mark Kamsler, MD, Adrea Rentea, MD, CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES AND IMMUNIZATIONS Anthroposophic Ideas to Ensure the Wellbeing of Our Children in This Digital Age (SteinerBook, 2017), pp. 157-159.







Summary:



“[T]he human being is a sevenfold metal ...

[T]he seven planets work through the seven metals in the human body ...

Understanding [this] is particularly important for [treating] children.”







Waldorf Watch Response:


No comment.

— R.R.












March 3, 2018,


◊ READINGS ◊


ANTHROPOSOPHY
AND MICHAEL 






[Temple Lodge Publishing, 2013.]








From an Anthroposophical book put out recently by Temple Lodge Publishing:


◊ “What lies spiritually and cosmically at the foundation of a community like the Anthroposophical Society? In wrestling with this question, I have come to the inner conviction that it is justified to speak of the Anthroposophical Society as a Michael community [i.e., a community centered on the archangel Michael].” — Anthroposophist Paul Mackay, THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL SOCIETY AS A MICHAELIC COMMUNITY (Temple Lodge, 2013), pp. 1-2.

◊ “[T]he spiritualization the Anthroposophical Society has striven for…requires us to become increasingly conscious of the spiritual and cosmic basis for a community like the Anthroposophical Society. It then becomes possible for the individual to find his place in the Society with this consciousness. Thus Rudolf Steiner begins to speak about the karma of the Anthroposophical Society, quite a complicated one as a general karma arising through the karmic confluence of many individual human beings.” — p. 17.

◊ “[A] power began to radiate from Michael…in 1879 [CE], one that can restore order to the karma of those who have stayed with him … [L]light will pour over humanity through the Michael stream and Michael deeds if the Michael thought becomes fully alive in at least 4 times 12 human beings. Here the number 4 can be connected with the four great cosmic directions … The number 12 invokes Rudolf Steiner’s reference to the twelve members of King Arthur’s Round Table … Here one can get a sense for Rudolf Steiner’s intimation that when cosmic intelligence has become our own intelligence it can work between people so that it becomes cosmic intelligence once again, but now permeated by the human being. Then ‘we’ can become participants in helping bring about what anthroposophy is meant to accomplish for earthly development in a Michaelic way … In this way we work at restoring the truth of karma.” — pp. 31-33.




Waldorf Watch Commentary:



Anthroposophical texts are often hard to read. They tend to be couched in a dense, incantatory jargon that, for most readers, obscures meaning rather than conveying it. For this reason, when I quote from these texts, I often try to make the authors’ meaning clearer than the authors themselves did. Sometimes this leads me to insert little clarifying phrases within brackets, and often it leads me to chop out extraneous verbiage, chops that I indicate with ellipses (…).

Now, whenever I leave out words, you need to be cautious. Omitting words means changing the meaning of a sentence, if only slightly. I may assure you that I proceed with great care, aiming to help you see clearly what the authors meant. But, of course, you shouldn’t place blind faith in me. You should check up on me, as often as you can. This is why I always tell you the source of the quotations I use, so that you can consult the original texts to make sure I haven’t cheated.

(I haven’t cheated. The real meaning of Anthroposophical texts is the strongest possible argument against Anthroposophy. I want all of us to see exactly what Anthroposophists say and believe. So I don’t cheat. But you can’t be sure of this unless you check up on me. So, please, check.)

The problem with quotations is larger than this, however. Even when words are not chopped from a quotation, a solitary quote standing by itself may be misleading. Normally, every sentence occurs within the context of other sentences, just as every paragraph occurs within the context of other paragraphs, and every chapter occurs within the context of other chapters. When we omit context, meanings can be misconstrued.

Once again, the only real option for determining whether a quotation means what it seems to mean is to consult the original text. So, once again, I urge you to check as often as you can.

The real meaning of Anthroposophical texts is the strongest possible argument against Anthroposophy. If we understand the doctrines of Anthroposophy, our understanding should lead us to repudiate Anthroposophy. So I urge you to check up on me, and I urge you to read as many Anthroposophical texts as you can bear to read. You may just find that really understanding Anthroposophy will inoculate you against any urge to embrace Anthroposophy.

— R.R.





For more about the archangel Michael, see “Michael”. Concerning the ties between Michael and Anthroposophy, see the entry for “School of Michael” in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia. For more about karma, see “Karma”. For more about Anthroposophical numerology (“4 times 12 ... [T]he number 4 can be connected ... The number 12 invokes..."), see “Magic Numbers”. For more about King Arthur, see "Pagan". To read some Anthroposophical texts in full, with no excisions, see, e.g., “Lecture” and “Forbidden”.

THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL SOCIETY AS A MICHAEL COMMUNITY deals with a meditation offered by Rudolf Steiner when the foundation stone for the Anthroposophical headquarters was set in the ground — the Foundation Stone Meditation. Author Paul Mackay devotes much of his attention to Steiner’s use of the word “we” in this meditation. In my excerpts, I did not emphasize this subject because dealing with it adequately would require quoting far more of the book. But here is how the editors of Temple Lodge Publishing describe the matter:

“How can one understand Rudolf Steiner's use of the word ‘we’ in the last part of the Foundation Stone Meditation (‘What we found from our hearts and direct from our heads with focused will’)? What characterizes this ‘we’?

“In the first part of this original and inspiring work, Paul Mackay takes this question as a point of departure, developing a unique approach to working with the seven rhythms of the Meditation. Based on personal experiences, he comes to the conclusion that the rhythms are an expression of the members of the human constitution, with the ‘we’ in the fifth rhythm having the quality of ‘Spirit-self’. The second part of the book considers the same ‘we’ from a karmic perspective, with reference to Rudolf Steiner's karma lectures, events in the fourth and ninth centuries, the mystery of death and evil, and the restoration of karmic truth.”

This description appears on the back cover of the book and also at the Temple Lodge website: http://www.templelodge.com/pages/viewbook.php?isbn_in=9781906999544.










March 8, 2018


◊ ANTHROPOSOPHICAL WISDOM ◊


THE WALDORF WATCH
NO-COMMENT DEPARTMENT



ELECTRONICS, AHRIMAN, 
THE SPIRITS OF DARKNESS, 
THE ANTICHRIST, AND 
AMERICA








[Rudolf Steiner Press, 2016.]




When we consider computer technology, it is apparent...that we are dealing with an externalized ahrimanic doppelgänger [i.e., an incarnated doppelgänger associated with the arch-demon Ahriman] ... The computer is a cold machine with a very high level of intelligence and an uncompromising will ... Steiner [connects] the discovery of the ahrimanic doppelgänger with [the] 'fall of the spirits of darkness' [i.e., the ejection of certain demons from the spirit realm]. He describes the attempt by western occult lodges [i.e., secret societies] to keep these facts secret in order to exploit them as a deliberate means of exerting power and darkening people's awareness of supersensible [i.e., supernatural] reality ... [A] large proportion of humanity's powers of attention are now bound to machines with the help of the consciousness technologies of the internet and computers ... Rudolf Steiner [describes] how these technologies, originating in America, will spread throughout the world.

Those who will seek to introduce the Antichrist as the Christ are attempting to exploit what is able to act through the most material of forces but which, in actual fact, acts in a spiritual way through the most material of forces. Above all, this group is seeking to exploit electricity and the Earth's magnetism in order to generate effects throughout the world.

Steiner thus makes clear that, in connection with the fall of the spirits of darkness, an attempt will be made to absorb the development of the free, etheric forces of our consciousness. This is because the spirits of darkness had to leave the etheric realm and therefore have an ever greater interest in keeping human consciousness away from this sphere. At present, they achieve this primarily through those machines that imitate consciousness processes within the human organism, processes that are bound to the senses and based on electrical currents, and ultimately, therefore, based on the ahrimanic doppelgänger.

— Waldorf lecturer Andreas Neider in the Introduction to a collection of Steiner lectures, THE ELECTRONIC DOPPELGÄNGER (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2016), pp. 8-18.





Waldorf Watch Response:


No comment.


[But if you want to explore the Waldorf/Anthroposophical fear of modern technology, see, e.g., Waldorf Watch news items for February 10, 2018, and January 5, 2018 (scroll down). To explore Steiner's views on America, see, e.g., "America". Concerning these and other matters, you might also explore The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]

— R.R.












April 5, 2018


◊ READINGS ◊


NONESUCH 
DEVELOPMENTS 



Waldorf education hinges, to a large degree, on the description of child development given by Rudolf Steiner. According to this description, children mature in a more or less rigid sequence of bodily, psychological, and spiritual changes. Little allowance is made for individual variability between children. All kids of a given age are thought to stand at approximately the same level of development.

So, for instance, a Waldorf teachers’ association has put out a pamphlet that describes “the one-year-old child,” "the two-year-old child,” and so forth — as if all children in their first year, their second year, etc., develop in the same way at essentially the same speed.








[Waldorf Early Education Associaition of North America, 2017.]



The Waldorf conception of childhood development is fundamentally mystical. Based on Rudolf Steiner’s occult doctrines, it postulates stages of maturation that are little more than mystical fantasies. So, for instance, the seven-year-old child is thought to receive her/his “etheric body” — an invisible envelope of “life forces.” The etheric body is also sometimes called the “life body” or the “formative-forces body.” This body is the first of three invisible bodies that, according to Waldorf belief, incarnate during the first 21 years of life. [See “Incarnation”.]

Here is how the arrival of the etheric body is described in CHILD DEVELOPMENT: YEAR BY YEAR:


The Seven-Year-Old Transformation

…In Waldorf education we speak about the first seven years as the period of time during which the child "takes hold" of his or her physical body. This "taking hold of" gesture includes the change of teeth….

With the eruption of the child’s permanent teeth, some of the growth forces active in the first seven years, also called the life or etheric forces, are now available for creating on another level, in the area of imagination or mental images….

…Once the child has taken hold of his or her physical body and some of the growth forces are freed for other creative functions, the child has gained his or her own "protective garment," usually referred to as the life body or etheric body. Waldorf educators recognize this freeing of some of the creative forces…as a sign of the birth of the child’s own life body or etheric body....

— CHILD DEVELOPMENT: YEAR BY YEAR (Waldorf Early Education Associaition of North America, 2017), p. 18.



Before sending your child to a Waldorf school, make sure you understand — and can accept — the thinking on which the schools are based. If this thinking strikes you as false, you should look for a different kind of school.

[For more on the etheric body, see the entry for "etheric body" in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia. The other invisible bodies that Waldorf teachers believe in are the "astral body," believed to incarnate around age 14, and the "ego body" (or "ego" or "I"), believed to incarnate around age 21. You might also look up the entries for these bodies in the Encyclopedia. As for the importance Waldorf teachers attach to children's teeth, see the entries for "baby teeth" and "teeth". Concerning "the area of imagination or mental images", see the entries for "imagination" and "clairvoyance". According to Steiner, imagination is a precursor to — or the initial stage of — clairvoyance.]

—R.R.











April 17, 2018



ANCIENT FALSEHOOD 
AS AN EDUCATIONAL APPROACH 







Currently featured at the Online Waldorf Library:





[Waldorf Publications, 2018.]




From the publisher:


The Four Temperaments [by] Helmut Eller & Cynthia Eller

$29.00


Here is a thorough investigation of these unusual pedagogical tools used by Waldorf teachers around the world: The Four Temperaments. Both teachers and parents will delight in understanding the different characteristics of each temperament and how these play into the development of every child (and every grownup, too). Used as a tool for understanding rather than for categorizing, the temperaments can be magical in their power to help a child to be seen and understood by the adults who care for them.These may sound a bit archaic, but Helmut Eller, from years of classroom experience in Waldorf teaching in Germany, brings them solidly into the twenty-first century! They are an abandoned ideal that needs re-implementing as they provide a wealth of help in finding a way to the heart and enthusiasm of every youngster. A good read with light-hearted goodwill in it for taking these temperaments as the artistic resources they are.

Waldorf Publications
ISBN: 978-1943582181
228 pages
7 X 9 inches






Waldorf Watch Response:


The concept of the four temperaments does indeed "sound a bit archaic," and it has indeed been generally "abandoned" — for good reason.

Some ancient Greek physicians believed that human beings could be classified according to a simplistic four-part scheme. They thought that every human is either phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, or melancholic. These dispositions result from the predominance, in different people's bodies, of different bodily fluids: phlegm, yellow bile, blood, or black bile. A person who is primarily affected by phlegm is consequently phlegmatic (slow, dull, impassive), while one who is primarily influenced yellow bile is choleric (short-tempered, easily angered), and so forth. [See "Humouresque".]

This simplistic, false scheme may have seemed plausible two millennia ago, but it has long since been set aside almost everywhere in the modern world — except in Waldorf schools. Waldorf thinking tends to be backward, and this is a prime example. The beliefs on which Waldorf stands generally embrace ancient ignorance, mistaking it for wisdom, while rejecting modern scientific knowledge, mistaking it for impious ignorance. [See, e.g., "The Ancients" and "Science".]

The blurb quoted above says that the concept of the four temperaments is used in Waldorf schools as "a tool for understanding rather than for categorizing." This is severely misleading. An ancient, false theory does not provide any true "understanding." Moreover, Waldorf teachers do indeed tend to "categorize" (pigeonhole, stereotype) students according to the kids' supposed "temperaments." Even seating arrangements in Waldorf classrooms often divide kids into the four temperamental categories:

"[T]he children should be seated according to their temperaments. It will be found, for instance, that the phlegmatics get so bored with one another that they wake up; the cholerics will calm one another down since no-one [sic] will be allowed to be the leader ... The cholerics, best able to cope with any disturbance, should perhaps have a place near the door and the sanguines will not really mind where they. The center might be a good place for them.” — Waldorf teacher Roy Wilkinson, THE TEMPERAMENTS IN EDUCATION (Wilkinson, 1983), pp. 9-10.

Class assignments in Waldorf schools are often keyed to the kids' supposed temperaments. According to the Waldorf approach, kids of various temperaments have different interests and skills, different capacities, different body types, and even different auras. Here is a quick summary of the Waldorf view on these matters, drawn from various Anthroposophical sources:


Phlegmatics: They generally have dark coloring, wispy hair, sleepy eyes; they dress conservatively; they need carefully defined assignments with clear paths to solution; in math, they are adept at addition; they are good stewards; they make good pianists; the pictures they draw are often bland and apparently unfinished; they should sit near windows or in the back of the classroom; if they need punishment, it should be meted out immediately; their auras are often green.

Cholerics: They are husky, upright, with darting eyes; they prefer unusual, individualized costumes; they need challenging assignments; they are good at division; they are natural leaders; they have a feeling for percussion instruments; the pictures they create often depict crises such as volcanic eruptions; they should often sit near the door; if they need punishment, it should be postponed until their anger has subsided; their auras are often red.

Sanguines: They are well-proportioned, slender, with dancing eyes; their dress is colorful and stylish; they need varied, quickly completed assignments; they are adept at multiplication; they are typified by movie stars; they are attracted to brass and reed instruments; the pictures they draw are bright and full of movement; they can sit anywhere, but the center of the room is often appropriate; they rarely need punishment — a word of caution may be sufficient; their auras are often yellow.

Melancholics: They are usually thin, stooped, with mournful eyes; they dress in drab and dark colors; they should be given assignments that are sorrowful but, in the end, encouraging; they are good at subtraction; they have an affinity for stringed instruments; they may become thinkers or philosophers; the pictures they draw are bold but too busy; they should sit apart, in quiet corners; if they need punishment, it should be administered sympathetically but firmly; their auras tend to be blue.


It would be hard to come up with a method of "understanding" children that would be more divorced from reality. The "unusual pedagogical tools used by Waldorf teachers around the world: The Four Temperaments" are both false and potentially quite harmful. Stereotyping children is always wrong, and doing so on the basis of a false, ancient typology is doubly wrong. Moreover, it violates the claim Waldorf schools often make, that they honor the individuality of each child.

Today's children certainly deserve better than the "magical" concept of the four temperaments.

[For more on these matters, see "Temperaments".]


— R.R.













April 26, 2018


◊ READINGS ◊



ASTROLOGICAL GROWTH PATTERNS:
WALDORF EDUCATION







[SteinerBooks, 2009.]




Waldorf education is structured around Rudolf Steiner’s clairvoyant “discovery” that human beings develop on a fixed schedule of seven-year-long phases. This concept is sometimes called Steiner’s most important educational insight. [See “Most Significant”.]

Steiner said that the three seven-year-long phases occurring during childhood entail the birth of a child’s four bodies. The physical body is born at the moment of physical emergence upon the Earth. Seven years later, a second “birth” occurs: The child’s “etheric body” (an envelope of formative life forces) is born. After seven more years have gone by, at age 14, a third birth occurs: The child’s “astral body” (an envelope of soul forces) is born. Later yet, at the end of childhood — at age 21 — the “I” or “ego body” (one’s spiritual ego, one’s divine selfhood) is born. [See "Incarnation".]

The cycle of seven-year-long phases continues well into adulthood, Steiner taught — we are "born" over and over, even after becoming adults. [See “What We’re Made Of”.] According to Steiner, the process of incarnating fully as a human being on Earth involves moving through a fixed sequence of astrological influences beaming down from the planets overhead.

Here is how the matter is summarized in an Anthroposophical publication released during the 21st century:


“Spiritual sight [i.e., clairvoyance] reveals…that the incarnating human being experiences manifold births … [E]very seven years after physical birth a supersensible [i.e., supernatural] aspect of the individual’s being is ‘born’ … These births…follow planetary laws, under the successive rulership of these seven planetary spheres: the three inner planets, Moon, Mercury, Venus; the central Sun (three-times seven years); and the three outer planets, Mars Jupiter, Saturn.” — Beredene Jocelyn, CITIZENS OF THE COSMOS (SteinerBooks, 2009), p. 39.


Several parts of this passage deserve comment. Note that, in Anthroposophy as in classical astrology, there are seven “planets” in our solar system. These seven include the Sun and Moon. Of course, in reality, neither the Sun nor the Moon is a planet. And, in reality, the solar system contains eight planets (or nine if we count Pluto). The real planets are, counting outward, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune (and, perhaps, Pluto). Steiner ended his census of the solar system with Saturn, which he called the outermost planet. He denied that Uranus and Neptune are really members of the solar system — and, despite his “clairvoyance,” he overlooked the icy world called Pluto, which was not discovered until after his death.*

Our focus here should be on the three “inner planets” that, according to Anthroposophical belief, rule childhood. These are the planets of greatest importance in the astrological beliefs that govern Waldorf schooling. Thus, in CITIZENS OF THE COSMOS, Beredene Jocelyn tells us of the “Moon Cycle” (ages zero to seven), followed by the “Mercury Cycle” (ages seven to 14), and the “Venus Cycle” (ages 14 to 21). Here are a few excerpts from her descriptions:


“THE MOON CYCLE … [T]he first year after [physical] birth is the Moon year of the Moon cycle, thus doubly under the Moon’s influence … With the Moon, Queen of the Night, we associate sleep and dreams … [T]he young child…[is a] moon-reflector … [P]arents and the people surrounding him [i.e., the child] should be as a sun to him.” — pp. 30-31.

“THE MERCURY CYCLE … The second period of seven years, the Mercury cycle, covers the time between…the ‘birth’ of the etheric body at seven, and the astral body at fourteen … Mercury is a planet that deals with dualities, with contrasts … The child soul [at this age] delights in experiencing contrasting rhythms … Contrasts and alternations increase the flexibility, mobility, and adaptability of the soul.” — pp. 38-43.

“THE VENUS CYCLE … In the Moon cycle from birth to 7, growth forces proceeded primarily from the head, and in the Mercury cycle, 7-14, from the rhythmic system [i.e., heart, lungs, and esophagus]. In the Venus cycle, they extend further downward to the metabolic-limb-reproductive system … At puberty, on entering the Venus cycle, a new power of love is born … With his own independent astral body he [i.e., the child] advances from generalized to individualized feelings … Intellect alone, not balanced by feeling and will, does not lead to truly constructive action.” — pp. 50-54.


Again, we should comment on at least a few of the falsehoods woven through this Anthroposophical account. Just as astrology is nonsense — just as there is no Moon cycle, Mercury cycle, or Venus cycle ruling a child’s growth — in the same way, there is no “rhythmic system” or “metabolic-limb-reproductive system” in the human constitution. These are occult fantasies promoted by Rudolf Steiner.

An educational system built on such falsehoods must inevitably run astray. We can see one indication of this in Jocelyn’s derogation of intellect, which she derived from Steiner’s teachings about the brain and intellect. No one can deny that feelings and love are extremely important, but we should likewise insist that the brain and intellect are extremely important. But Waldorf education is wary of the brain and its uses. Indeed, Steiner taught that the brain is a highly unreliable organ. He directed Waldorf education away from brainwork. He said the following, for instance:

“[T]he brain and nerve system have nothing at all to do with actual cognition.” — Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE — The Foundations of Waldorf Education (SteinerBooks, 1996), p. 60.

“Actual cognition,” Steiner taught, is clairvoyance — which he said is seated not in the brain but in nonphysical “organs of clairvoyance.” These are additional falsehoods present at the base of Waldorf education. Clairvoyance is a fantasy at best, a delusion are worst. [See "Clairvoyance".]

As for the use of the brain, Steiner made such comments as this:

“The intellect destroys or hinders.” — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), p. 233. [See “Steiner’s Specific”.]

Steiner conceded that the brain has some slight value. He said that after a child has been thoroughly indoctrinated in the occult fantasies of Anthroposophy (these are my words, not his), it may be safe — during the “Venus cycle” — to encourage the child to start thinking, a little. But only a little, mind you. [See, e.g., “Thinking” and “Thinking Cap”.] This is why Jocelyn insists that intellect must be "balanced by feeling and will." Steiner said that intellect used by itself brings us within the clutches of the terrible demon Ahriman.

"Intellectuality flows forth from Ahriman as a cold and frosty, soulless cosmic impulse.” — Rudolf Steiner, ANTHROPOSOPHICAL LEADING THOUGHTS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 98. [See "Ahriman".]




Jocelyn and Steiner give us a lot to mull over as we consider the falsehoods on which Waldorf education has been erected. Astrology. Mystical cycles. Etheric bodies. Astral bodies. Ego bodies. The rhythmic system. The metabolic-limb-reproductive system. Aversion to thought. Ahriman.

No rational system of education can be erected on the basis of such fictions. But, then, Waldorf education does not aim to be rational.

"You will injure children if you educate them rationally.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE, p. 61.






* Astronomers have identified additional Pluto-like planets beyond the orbit of Pluto. The full census of our solar system is not yet complete. With each new discovery, Steiner's miniature seven-planet vision is proven more and more false.

— R.R.














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


◊◊◊ 3. WALDORF SCHOOLS TODAY ◊◊◊




WALDORF NOW

Bringing the inquiry up to date: What goes on inside Waldorf schools today?


TODAY

Waldorf schools in the 21st Century

TODAY 2
What they're saying

TODAY 3
More

TODAY 4
What they're reading

TODAY 5
What they're saying (cont.)

TODAY 6,

More, and more, and...


WEIRD WALDORF

A brief look at the purposes of Waldorf schooling


NUTSHELL

A brief summary of Rudolf Steiner’s doctrines and teachings


SIX FACTS ABOUT STEINER EDUCATION
A guide for students and parents

ANTHROPOPERY

Steiner's theory of everything


SECRETS

Some of the things you aren’t supposed to know


FAILURE

To survive or not, to teach or not

    
REPORT CARD

Debating and evaluating Waldorf education


NEWS
News about Waldorf schools

NEWS 2
The Watch in Waldorf Watch (Cont.)

NEWS 3    
Watching (Cont., Cont.)







































[R.R., 2018.]