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93a) Steiner taught that we will perfect imagination during the Future Jupiter stage of evolution. Imagination, you see, is "Jupiter consciousness": “In the Jupiter-evolution [i.e., Future Jupiter] man will himself have the consciousness which is possessed today by the beings whom we call Angels, Angeloi ... Men are growing in their present development into the Jupiter consciousness....” — Rudolf Steiner, THE INFLUENCE OF SPIRITUAL BEINGS ON MAN (Anthroposophic Press, 1961), lecture 7, GA 102.
93) [Reading the Hidden Script] “When the [candidate for initiation] has got so far as to have an experience of Intuition, then in addition to having knowledge of the pictures that belong to the world of soul and spirit, and being able to read from the Hidden Script how these pictures are interrelated, he also comes to know the Beings through whose co-operation the world to which man belongs has been called into existence [i.e., the gods who assisted in the creation of our world].” — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1979), p. 296.
Waldorf schools emphasize intuition, inspiration, and especially imagination. In Steiner’s teachings, all three of these “faculties” are stages in the development of clairvoyance, stages on the path to initiation in the occult mysteries of Anthroposophy. Intuition is the highest of the three — higher than a child would likely attain. But Waldorf schools try to set kids' feet on the path leading toward eventual occult initiation. [See "Thinking Cap" and "Inside Scoop".]
As for the “Hidden Script” — that is the Akashic Record, a celestial encyclopedia that you can read if, and only if, you become clairvoyant. [See "Akasha".]
93b) We will perfect inspiration during Future Venus. It is "Venus consciousness": "[T]he ‘Venus consciousness’ [will] appear during the sixth cycle of Venus [i.e., during the sixth phase of Future Venus].” — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (SteinerBooks, 1981), pp. 162-163.
93c) Perfected intuition will become ours during Future Vulcan. Then we will, at least provisionally, reach our developmental goal. "The last planet [i.e., planetary condition or condition of consciousness] which can still be counted among the series of earthly transformations, and hence follows Venus [i.e., Future Venus], is called 'Vulcan' by mystery science [i.e., Future Vulcan]. On this planet the provisional goal of the development of mankind is attained." — Rudolf Steiner, COSMIC MEMORY (Rudolf Steiner Publications, 1959), chapter 13, GA 11.
94) [Adding It Up] Lurking behind Waldorf education are such occult beliefs as astrology and numerology. Here is Steiner embracing both of these two fallacies, discussing the length of time required for the completion of a full cycle of astrological ages (i.e., twelve periods when the constellations of the zodiac become predominant, one after the other, for many centuries at a stretch). He links this enormous stretch of time to the number of breaths a human being takes in a year. Which proves what? Well, in reality, it proves nothing. But for mystics like Steiner, such coincidences have great “meaning.” Waldorf students may be led into a similarly credulous ("oh, wow") state of mind. I know. I was there.
“The essential thing to bear in mind is that the vernal point [the beginning of spring] advances along the whole Zodiac circle, so that the point where the sun rises is always a little further on [in the Zodiac, in succeeding years]. The vernal point must travel along the whole Zodiac and it will then return to its point of departure. The time required for this will be about 25,920 years ... On the average, a human being breathes 18 times a minute ... In one hour this would be equal to 18 x 60 = 1,080. In 24 hours: 1,080 x 24 = 25,920, that is to say, 25,920 times ... This is extremely important, for it shows us that our respiratory process, that is to say, something which takes place within our human being, is subjected to the same rhythm — differing only in time — as the rhythm which, on a large scale, lies at the foundation of the rhythm of the sun's course.” — Rudolf Steiner, “Man's Position in the Cosmic Whole, the Platonic World-Year” (ANTHROPOSOPHIC NEWS SHEET, 1940, No. 1-2) GA 174.
All very true, more or less, as far as it goes. Except that the Sun’s “course” as determined in astrological terms is an illusion. And the zodiac is a illusion. And different people breathe at different rates, so the magic number 25,920 doesn’t apply to all of them. In fact, none of this applies to anyone or anything, since it is all a pile of — shall we just say silliness? [The math Steiner uses is, actually, quite imprecise. See "Mystic Math".]
By the way, consider what it means for a “rhythm” to differ from another “rhythm” “only in time.” Two rhythms differing in time are fundamentally different, not the same.
Anyway. Back to the zodiac. Steiner sometimes taught that we reincarnate once per astrological age — that is, once every 2,160 years (25,920 / 12), give or take.* This is extremely important. Except that it isn’t, since reincarnation is a fantasy. Students at Waldorf schools, however, will be taught by people who believe in it, and in astrology, and in meaningless numerical wonders. (One more quick example: Steiner once calculated that the demon Ahriman reached his greatest power in the year 333 BC. Likewise, Steiner said that the need for humans to reenter the celestial hierarchies began in the year 333 AD. Now, adding 333 to 333, we get — ta da! — 666, the Mark of the Beast. All of which proves — what? Nothing. But Steiner and his followers think it has great significance. — Rudolf Steiner, GUARDIAN ANGELS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000), pp. 96-97.]
95) [The Dead and The Undead] What else do Waldorf teachers believe in? We might better ask what mystical fantasies don’t they believe in? If the accept Steiner’s word for things (as they do), they believe, for instance, that we can communicate with the dead. (For instance, see the book STAYING CONNECTED: How to Continue Your Relations with Those Who Have Died (Anthroposophic Press, 1999), consisting of wisdom provided by Rudolf Steiner.)
According to Steiner, the dead are living presences in our lives. They may also become unliving/undead presences, if mad scientists have their way: “There will also....be many attempts to introduce the dead into human life by artificial means. The dead will be brought into human life via a detour through Gemini....” — Rudolf Steiner, SECRET BROTHERHOODS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2004), p. 192.
96) [Machine-Animals] Here’s another example of the sorts of nightmares Steiner spread. I’ll take it from the same book I just quoted from — in fact, I’ll take it from the same page. Steiner said that evil wizards or scientists will “detach the mechanism of life somewhat from the human being ... The cosmic forces brought in from this direction will produce remarkable machines, machines that can be labour-saving for people because they will contain a degree of intelligence. And it will be the task of a science of the spirit concerned with the cosmos [could he mean Anthroposophy?] to ensure that all the great temptations emanating from these machine-animals created by human beings themselves will be unable to have any damaging influence on them.” — Rudolf Steiner, SECRET BROTHERHOODS, p. 192. Now you know why Waldorf schools are so down on computers and other labour-saving “machine animals” that have “a degree of intelligence.” Thank goodness a “science of the spirit” is standing guard! [If you want to look more into the Waldorf take on technology, you might study THE COMPUTER AND THE INCARNATION OF AHRIMAN, by David B. Black, published by the Rudolf Steiner College Press. It explains how computers embody the arch-demon Ahriman. Also see, e.g., "Spiders, Dragons and Foxes".]
["Enigma", by Jorge Otero-Millan, colored as per Isia Léviant (1914-2006).]
This famous work of op art seems to move: Stare at it, and the inner two rings appear to rotate.
(For some viewers, the third ring and even fourth ring may seem to move also.)
In fact, of course, the image is completely stationary; the apparent motion is produced
by our own eyes and brains (the eyes, dazzled, make rapid, tiny movements, and our
brains interpret these as motions of the image instead of motions of the eyes).
This is how Steiner's "spiritual science" — Anthroposophy — works as well.
Believers peer at phenomena (or they peer inside themselves, evoking imagined visions)
and they "see" motion, or meaning, or significance in them — not realizing that what they are
actually, unconsciously, doing is producing these things, not perceiving them.
Our capacity to deceive ourselves is almost unlimited. The crucial task of rationality,
when confronted with the apparently amazing or astonishing, is to pause, think hard,
and ascertain, if possible, a real-world explanation for things that otherwise may seem otherworldly.