the esoteric HUH?! of Rudolf Steiner

This is one of a series of posts discussing Rudolf Steiner’s Founding a Science of the Spirit: Fourteen Lectures Given in Stuttgart Between 22 August and 4 September 1906. Visit the tag Science of Spirit for all posts on this topic. 

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It is that time of year again, late summer/early fall when the children are busily packing off to school each morning and I am once again re-immersed in the quirks of Waldorf education and Steiner’s philosophies. Calling upon god and the angels to give us strength and clear our path, I have to remind myself to breathe at the parent meeting as the teacher recites a blessing. It is meant — in my mind at least — as allegorical, god as a metaphor for the Universe, I will continue to hold to this thought.

There is the issue of Christ as a “Representative of Humanity” which is a concept I still struggle with, I understand Steiner’s point, allegorically, but the loaded language of Christ comes with Christian Science baggage. The seasonal festivals have religious language, the rapidly approaching fall equinox celebration is Michaelmas, where the Archangel Michael slays a dragon. I have issues with angels, but I think I can make an exception for one with a flaming golden sword.

A slim volume, Steiner’s Founding a Science of the Spirit: Fourteen Lectures Given in Stuttgart Between 22 August and 4 September 1906 sits on my desk. Perhaps this year I’ll manage to read it. The fourteen lectures sound like possible titles for a cross between a pseudo-scientific Netflix show and a series of TED talks, and then some of them just left me going “HUH?!”

Now that I stop and think about it, is Evolution of the Mankind up to Atlantean Times really any stranger than everyone’s favorite weekly Bible Lesson Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced?  It was also a huge letdown, because we never actually talked about necromancy (yes, I was that child). I digress.

The first thing I noticed in looking these up is the titles vary slightly, as they were translated from Steiner’s original German into english. I am not sure I would be able to read Steiner in his original German. I struggled with Herman Hesse’s esoteric German in Siddhartha (good book, read it in the dual language edition) and I’m not sure if they even publish Steiner’s work in dual-language (so far the answer appears to be “not available at Amazon” but plenty of his other works are).

Esoteric strangeness aside, I would like to read Founding a Science of the Spirit in an attempt to better understand the underlaying foundations of the philosophies that are being used as the cornerstones of my children’s education. There are fourteen chapters, so my initial thought was I should try and read one a month, but that would make this project go on for over a year. One a week feels a bit too ambitious. One whenever I feel like it probably won’t happen, but I’m going to try anyway. So, keep an eye out for posts tagged Science of Spirit and join me as I dive headlong into the esoteric HUH?! of Rudolf Steiner.


2 thoughts on “the esoteric HUH?! of Rudolf Steiner

  1. Bill Sweet says:

    The Rudolf Steiner group rented a huge space at a local mall. I got an invitation.

    I attended. It was a long session. I’d say I stayed almost four hours.

    Very attractive presenters. One woman presenter looked like Bo Derek. Maybe that is why I stayed.

    The Steiner folks fed us before hand. There were 300 people in the audience. They had us go through a long peaceful healing session with relaxation through spiritual techniques. Affirmations of Divine Truth were about man’s perfection said by the presenters that distantly sounded like Christian Science and other metaphysical systems that are similar.

    Then the presenters asked people to give testimonies of their healings they just had during the healing session. People stood-up and testified about all kinds of aches and pains, depression gone, grief subdued, headaches disappeared. That is what I recall.

    I don’t remember if God was mentioned or not. He probably was, but there was an effort to keep it on a human level without religion or religious terms.

    Lots of the people there seemed to be from overseas in my estimation.

    It was a great example of group think and the healing power of the placebo effect.

    When they wanted us to sign up courses is when I made for the exist.

    All in all, they seem tame enough and not a Jim Jones group in the least.

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