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TREASURY VIII


Let's revert, again, to the basic Steiner Static format: Miscellany.


113) [Auras] Steiner believed in ghosts, goblins, astrology, magic... He bought into almost every kind of mystical piffle. One more example: auras. A “whole” person includes an aura, which cannot be seen by ordinary senses although it easily perceived through the use of psychic powers. So Steiner said, adding that the “whole” person is surprisingly large. “[A] person’s soul and spirit nature appear as the supersensible portion of a total human being [i.e., the part that can only be seen with clairvoyance]. These spiritually perceptible colors, which surround an active physical human like an egg-shaped cloud, constitute that person’s aura. The size of this aura varies from person to person, but on average we may imagine that a whole entire person to be about twice as tall and four times as broad as his or her physical body.” — Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1994), p. 161.


By the way, newer editions of Steiner’s works are often modified to make Steiner seem less benighted. Thus, “his or her” (taken from from an edition of THEOSOPHY published in the 1990s) is an incorrect translation. Steiner spoke of “man” and “his” aura. Here is the same passage, taken from an earlier edition: “The color effects perceptible to the spirit eye that ray out around the physical man observed in his activity, and that envelop him like a somewhat egg-shaped cloud, are the human aura. The size of this aura varies in different people, but we may say that the entire man appears on the average twice as long and four times as wide as the physical man.” — Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1971), “Thought Forms and the Human Aura”, GA 9.


Steiner's followers take pains to represent — and misrepresent — Steiner in the most flattering terms. In this case, the distortion is fairly minor. But you should bear the phenomenon in mind when reading Steiner and/or when reading works by Anthroposophists about Steiner. The truth may not always be plainly displayed; you may have to do a bit of digging.





114) [High and Low] Here’s another example of editorial fiddling. Steiner said this about races and nations: “A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type....” — Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 252.


In a more recent edition, this blatant racism is softened slightly by shuffling the word order and adding a strategic set of quotation marks: “The more perfectly that individual members of a race or people express the pure, ideal human type...the ‘higher’ this race or nation is.” — Rudolf Steiner, HOW TO KNOW HIGHER WORLDS (Anthroposophic Press, 19947), p. 201.


Both versions are deplorable, but the newer version is less faithful to Steiner's original statement. The editors have tried to take the edge off Steiner's racism, suggesting that somehow when he spoke of higher races he didn't really mean higher. Moral: Read Steiner with skepticism, and when you have a choice, read an older edition. [For more on Steiner's racial views, see, e.g., "Steiner's Racism", "Races", and "Differences".]





115) [Amen] Steiner's editors sometimes change his words, altering the connotation and even the denotation of his statements. Steiner did something similar with the sources he drew from. He often changed things so that they are virtually unrecognizable. Here, for instance, is one 
altered version of the Lord’s Prayer as used by Steiner (he used others as well):


AUM.

AMEN.


Evils reign


Bearing witness to I-being

Separating itself

and to selfhood's guilt —

Incurred through others,

Experienced in the daily bread

Wherein the will of heaven

Does not reign,

Because humanity

Has separated itself

From Your Kingdom

And forgot your names


Ye Fathers in the Heavens.


— Rudolf Steiner, START NOW! (SteinerBooks, 2004), p. 221.


Steiner said this is the “cosmic” version of the Lord’s Prayer, the one Jesus learned from. It runs more or less backward, beginning with "Aum" (which does not appear in any genuine Christian prayer) and then "Amen" (the ending of any normal Christian prayer). And it ends with the salutation that should be at the beginning (in the Bible, this is "Our Father which art in Heaven" — Matthew 6:9-13). Steiner changed things in order to make them fit in his own spiritual system, Anthroposophy. Notice that in this case he changed the salutation of the Lord's Prayer so that, instead of addressing one God, it addresses many gods: "Ye Fathers." Anthroposophy is a polytheistic religion. Anyone who embraces monotheism should understand this clearly. Indeed, everyone — the pious, the agnostic, and the atheistic — should understand this. [See "Polytheism".] 


We should also notice that Steiner's version of the prayer asserts that "Evils reign." Steiner's followers often claim that Anthroposophy is entirely positive, sweet, and upbeat. But in fact Steiner's vision was laced through with apprehensions of violence and evil. [See, e.g., "Evil", "Evil Ones", and "All vs. All".]





116) [Getting Down] Steiner's strange religion, like his devotion to mystical superstitions, is rooted in antipathy toward (and apparent ignorance of) science. Consider the following, for instance: 
“Gravity is...perceived only by those beings that live on a solid planet ... Beings who could live on a fluid planet would know nothing of gravity ... And beings who live on a gaseous planet would regard as normal something that would be the opposite of gravity ... [B]eings dwelling on a gaseous planet instead of seeing bodies falling towards the planet would see them always flying off.” — Rudolf Steiner, SCIENCE (Rudolf Steiner Press 2003), pp. 136-137. Physicists will be amazed. In their benighted view (based on solid science), gravity exists everywhere, including on gaseous/fluid planets such as Jupiter — where gravity is far greater than on any solid planet in the solar system, such as little Earth.





117) [Ugliness and Ill-Doing] Here in Steiner Static, we’ve been looking a lot at mankind’s past. Let’s momentarily look into the future. Good humans will continue to evolve and reach high levels of spirituality, Steiner taught. Evil humans will have a different fate. The good people will push them aside, segregating them in a special "kingdom" (for their own good, of course): “[S]ide by side with human souls who have attained this high level of development [i.e., good humans], others will be living who have turned into a path leading towards evil. These backward souls will have burdened their Karma with so much of error, ugliness and ill-doing as to constitute a special group on their own, subject to aberration and evil ... By virtue of their spiritual development the good humanity will then be able to make use of the Moon forces and with their help transmute the bad [people], enabling them too to partake in the further evolution of the Earth, albeit as a distinct [i.e., separate] kingdom.” — Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1979), p. 309.





118) [Neighborliness] In a previous installment of Steiner Static, I mentioned Steiner’s nationalistic love of Germany. This great man, with his universal perspective, despised Germany’s neighbor and historic enemy, France. He was beside himself when he saw some Germans falling under the influence of French culture. Imagine the effects this could have on the German “race”! Steiner said, “Just think how long people who wished to give themselves airs chattered in French in all the German regions ... [W]hat continued on in the language was also perpetrated in other vices ... The legacy of this is still present in the craving to drink absinthe, indeed, even to enjoy cocaine and so on. These things will produce a weak race [in Germany]....” — Rudolf Steiner, FROM COMETS TO COCAINE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001), p. 284.


What is wrong with France and the French? Well, for one thing (118a): "The use of  French language quite certainly corrupts the soul." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 558. How is French corruption revealing itself? (118b): The French are committing the terrible brutality of moving black people to Europe." — Ibid., p. 558. What, in total, is the condition of France? (118c): “The French as a race are reverting." — Ibid., p. 559.]





119) [Reincarnation] Steiner’s real area of expertise was not international relations but the spirit realm, or so his followers believe (but, of course, international relations — and everything else — falls within the ambit of the spirit realm). So instead of berating Steiner for his hostility to the French, let’s respectfully listen as Steiner explains something he knows more about, namely reincarnation. “[R]ealize that looking at the human head you are looking at the transformed body of your previous earth life, and that the head you had then was the transformed body of your preceding life — you must imagine it without the head, of course. The head you see now is the transformed organism of the last life lived on earth. The rest of the organism as you see it now will be the head in the next life. Then the arms will have metamorphosed and become ears, and the legs will have become eyes.” — Rudolf Steiner, POLARITIES IN THE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1987), p. 59.


I kid you not.












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