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85) [Too Many Jesuses: Two] Did you know that there were actually two Jesuses? “[I]n preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha [i.e., the Crucifixion] two Jesus-children were born. The one was the Jesus who descended from the line of Solomon and bore the Ego of Zarathustra. The other, coming from the Nathan line of the House of David, was a very special Being. In the twelfth year of the life of the latter the Ego of Zarathustra passed over into him from the child of the line of Solomon, and from that time until his thirtieth year the Nathan child with the Ego of Zarathustra made himself ready to receive the Christ-Being.” — Rudolf Steiner, “Pre-Earthly Deeds of Christ” (Steiner Book Centre, 1976), GA 152.
This is not your father’s Christianity. But it is Steiner's. [See "Was He Christian?".]
Steiner’s heresies and plain confusions can be explained, however. You see,
86) [“Truth”] “The concepts of ‘true’ and ‘false’ are dreadfully barren, prosaic, and formal. The moment we rise to the truths of the spiritual world, we can no longer speak of ‘true’ and ‘false’....” — Rudolf Steiner, DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1983), p. 29.
This is a rather odd statement, coming from someone whose profession was the dissemination of spiritual truths. Indeed, Steiner said the following about foolish people who childishly failed to receive the truths he dispensed: (86a): “Those who come to me wanting to hear the truths available through esotericism and nevertheless refuse to walk the path are like schoolchildren who want to electrify a glass rod [but] refuse to rub it.” — Rudolf Steiner, FIRST STEPS IN INNER DEVELOPMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1999), p. 25.
There was a tactical advantage for Steiner in occasionally denying that the concepts "true" and "false" can be applied to his teachings. If the things he said cannot be judged in such terms, then he can never be judged to have said anything false, can he? (Or can he?)
(We might note, in passing, the great oddness of saying that when we consider "the truths of the spiritual world" ("truths," note), we must stop thinking in terms of truth. One truth of the spirit world seems to be that there are no truths of the spirit world. In the real world, this is called a contradiction. And contradicting yourself in the span of 19 words (“The concepts of ‘true’ and ‘false’ are dreadfully barren, prosaic, and formal. The moment we rise to the truths...") does not inspire much confidence.)
Moving on: From time to time we must grit our teeth and hear more of Steiner’s racial views. So grit:
87) [The Value of White Skin] “[T]he impregnation of the flesh by the spirit is the characteristic mission, the overall mission of white mankind. People have white skin because the spirit works in the skin when it wants to come down to the physical plain ... [W]here the spirit has not yet worked as spirit...where it assumes a demonic character, not fully penetrating the flesh, white skin coloring does not occur.” — Rudolf Steiner, DIE GEISTIGEN HINTERGRÜNDE DES ERSTEN WELTKRIEGES (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1974), GA 174b, p. 37.
Such statements almost boggle the mind. But Steiner was, after all, just a guy (see the section "Woodrow", above), and as a guy of his times he shared the biases and blindnesses of his time. So he was a racist, as most Europeans and Americans were in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Still, shouldn't we expect more from a spiritual leader, especially one who claimed to have clairvoyant powers that allowed him to perceive divine spiritual truths (oops)? But Steiner was insistent about the importance of skin color" (87a): "One can only understand history and all of social life, including today's social life, if one pays attention to people's racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin." — Rudolf Steiner, VOM LEBEN DES MENSCHEN UND DER ERDE - ÜBER DAS WESEN DES CHRISTENTUMS (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1993), GA 349, p. 52.
Steiner was equally insistent about the advantages enjoyed by people having very little pigmentation (i.e., whites): (87b): “If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense ... Blond hair actually bestows intelligence. In the case of fair people, less nourishment is driven into the eyes and hair; it remains instead in the brain and endows it with intelligence. Brown- and dark-haired people drive the substances into their eyes and hair that the fair people retain in their brains.” — Rudolf Steiner, HEALTH AND ILLNESS, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1981), pp. 85-86.
The polite response to such backward thinking is, I submit: Humbug.
Leaving the horrible subject or racism, let’s do a quick bit of review, preparing ourselves to learn about human life on Earth, which I’ll delve into in our next installment. Before we came to Earth, stuff like this was going on:
88) [Cosmic Sex] “Between one condition (Sun) and the other (Moon), it came about that the human being became a physical being in water. Formerly he was a physical being only in air. During this Moon condition we have [i.e., had] something similar to conception, but not yet anything similar to birth. What was the nature of this conception during the ancient Moon condition? [paragraph break] The Moon was there, an entirely female being ... Seeds came in from outside and fructified the whole Moon-Earth [i.e., the combined "planet" containing both Moon and Earth]. And if you could have lived at that time and set foot on this primeval cosmic body, you would not have said when you saw all sorts of drops coming in ‘It is raining,’ as one says today. At that time you would have said, ‘Earth is being fructified.’" — Rudolf Steiner, EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH AND MAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1987), p. 11.
[Detail from "Rotating Snakes" by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, color altered.]
Although not intended as such, this image could stand as an emblem of Anthroposophy, complex and illusory.
If you stare at the image, you will probably detect motion — especially at the middle of each set of circles,
but perhaps also in outer circles (stare at one set of circles, then shift to another set and see what your peripheral vision reports).
The image is in fact totally static — any motions you "see" are illusions, provided by your own deceived eyes and brain.
So it is with Anthroposophy. Steiner produced an elaborate, illusory cosmology that appeals to some minds.
But the "living spirit" in Anthroposophy is an illusion, a trick, a deception created partly by Steiner
(who may or may not have realized what he was doing), and partly by his eager, desirous followers
(who generally must not know what they are doing). Anthroposophists gaze at the picture in their minds
(put there at least in part by Steiner), and — wishing hard to find it true— they do not penetrate to the reality,
which is that the picture is lifeless; it does not move; it offers nothing but illusion.
Use this link to go to "Steiner Static, Part I",
or use the following link to go to "Steiner Static, Part II".
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