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RE: Scaligero and Steiner  Peter Staudenmaier
 Apr 18, 2002 09:11 PDT 
I suppose that a logical conversation is indeed impossible in this case, but
here's one more attempt. Percedol still thinks that Scaligero "didn't alter
Steiner's teachings." That is entirely possible; given Percedol's continued
refusal to tell us anything else about Scaligero's relationship to Steiner's
work, we're not going to find out soon. But if Percedol is right about this,
then Percedol himself has obviously misunderstood both Scaligero and
Steiner. He is also still, after all these posts, avoiding the question. For
example:

 Scaligero showed
that there is no limitation for any individual to achieve the initiation
and that any discriminatory use of Steiner's teachings teachings is a
dangerous distortion. Wherever someone discriminates another human being
based on the teachings of A. is misinterpreting these teachings and does
not understand that the I is unconditioned.

Nobody mentioned "discrimination" in the legal sense; this is a red herring
that anthroposophists love to bring up when you point out the racist
character of their doctrine. But the notion that the "I" is "unconditioned"
is completely contrary to Steiner's theory. According to anthroposophy, the
"I" develops as part of the process of cosmic evolution and racial advance,
which has so far culminated in the Aryan root race (whose special task is to
integrate the physical and the spiritual), and more specifically the
Germanic people (whose special task is to unfold the "I"). No person who
does not belong to one of these racial-ethnic groups can develop their "I"
until they escape their subordinate racial-ethnic status by reincarnating in
an "Aryan" (and preferably German) body.

Steiner addressed this question in unambiguous terms on numerous occasions;
I once again recommend Cosmic Memory and Mission of the Folk Souls for
fuller treatments of the topic. But for now, here are two other passages
from Steiner that should help clear things up for Percedol:

"We must keep in mind that no matter how highly developed an individuality
is, if it descends into an unsuitable body because it cannot find a suitable
one, this individuality cannot express his or her soul-spiritual faculties
because it lacks the necessary physical instruments."

(Steiner, The Universal Human, p. 33. This quote is from a lecture that
Steiner gave in Munich on December 7, 1909 -- three days after the lecture
that Percedol himself quotes from GA 117; both lectures were from the same
cycle, in the same city, and their titles are nearly identical.)

"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 the spiritual element operates within people precisely
through the color of their skin."

(Steiner, GA 349 p. 52. This quote is from the opening paragraph to the
chapter on "Color and Human Races" that was deleted from the English
translation of GA 349; it is a lecture from 1923 in Dornach.)

 Percedol:
It's not barb removal. It's correct understanding.

No, it's a whitewash. This is what "the elimination of data" and refusing to
"demonstrate anything" leads to, Percedol. Either pay attention to what
Steiner wrote or stop pretending you're following his writings.

 Percedol:
PoF was not abandoned for KoHW (written in 1904-5).

And when do you think Philosophy of Freedom was written??? Try to remember
that Steiner was a very different person, who held very different views,
before he became a theosophist. In Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, which
unlike PoF is an anthroposophical work, Steiner describes individuals as the
"executive organs" of their "national soul" and "racial soul". He explains
that "nations and races are merely the various stages of development toward
pure humanity. A nation or race stands higher the more perfectly its members
express the pure, ideal human type, the more they have worked their way
through from the transitory physical to the immortal supernatural. The
development of humankind through reincarnation in ever higher national and
racial forms is therefore a process of liberation." This is how the
anthroposophist Steiner conceived of racial-ethnic progress toward the "I".
Since you seem to have trouble grasping this point, Percedol, perhaps I
should point out that the very notion of "higher racial forms" is thoroughly
racist, no matter how much you dress it up with expressions of tolerance and
universal love.

 Percedol:
"…it is necessary, that that movement that is called anthroposophical
movement, that prepares for the sixth epoch in its basic character takes
up especially this task of getting rid of that which related to 'racial
character' and to unite people of all races, of all nations and in this
way bridging this differentiation, these differences, these abyss, that
exists between different groups of people. Because that which are old
racial points of view has a physical character, and that which will
develop into the future has a spiritual character.'

R. Steiner from a lecture given on December 4th, 1909, in "The deeper
secrets of the development of humanity in the light of the
 Gospels."(GA117)

Another red herring. This is one of two Steiner quotes that anthros who have
never read GA 117 like to trot out when they run out of arguments. Quite
apart from the fact that this quote needs to be read alongside the one
Steiner presented three days later (see above), Percedol has entirely missed
the point of the passage. GA 117 is about "the deeper secrets of the
development of humanity in light of the gospels" in the words of the book's
title. In the lecture Percedol quotes, Steiner once again identifies the
Jews as the primary example of "group-soulness" (p. 149-150), and explains
that true individuality is something that can only develop through the
further "evolution of humanity" (p. 151), which will eventually yield a
fully formed "I" once all "group-soulness" has been eliminated. This
obviously negates Percedol's misreading of Steiner' theory of the "I".

But Percedol, of course, thinks that the quote he has presented is Steiner's
forceful and clear rejection of racial characteristics as part of
anthroposophy. A number of other anthroposophists on this list, including
Detlef and Sune, have made the same naive mistake. At the very least they
might have noticed that this lecture says very clearly that "the full
overcoming of the race concept" will not occur until the sixth epoch,
several thousand years from now (p. 165); Steiner says nothing at all here
about overcoming racism today, here and now. And with a little more
intellectual curiosity, these anthroposophists might have tried to figure
out how their favorite quote fits in with the rest of Steiner's racial
doctrines, including his repeated predictions of a race war between "white
humankind" and "colored humankind" before the sixth epoch can begin, as well
as his repeated predictions that after the present concept of race has run
its course, it will be replaced by a simple contrast between two physically
and spiritually distinct groups: those who have managed to unfold the "I",
on the one hand, and those who have not, who will form what Steiner called
"the evil race".

There are several aspects of Steiner's racial doctrines that remain open to
interpreation because we have contrary indications from his massive body of
work on the topic. But these questions are not among them. The idea that
Steiner foresaw a non-racist future is utter nonsense.

Peter S.

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