A Confession of Anthroposophical Arrogance – and Post-Covid23x Structural Riddles

A Confession of Anthroposophical Arrogance – and Post-Covid23x Structural Riddles, by Joel A. Wendt, “white privileged, Christian, son of Montana, American citizen, shaman, and professional heretic”.

Since I first met Steiner in 1978 through his books, I have devoted myself to that work. That is over four decades of labor and love. Tragically, I had – after a time – to assert myself as an “outlaw” [1], given that my take on Anthroposophy was radically different from most of those who I was meeting in the Anthroposophical Society.

At one point I even created a book: “Dangerous Anthroposophy” [2]. In this collection of essays I wrote:

The use of the term Dangerous above is discussed in the first essay, but basically what makes Anthroposophy socially Dangerous is two-fold – in point of fact the kind of Anthroposophy practiced by the Society and Movement is a two-edge sword. One type of danger is the truth that lives in it. The more truth, the more socially dangerous, whether within the shared culture of humanity or within the Anthroposophical Society itself. The other kind of danger concerns the absence of truth.

To the extent that what lives in the Anthroposophical Society and Movement is false, whether it is opinion masquerading as knowledge, or arrogance and pride, or simply mere Steinerism (a belief system, see my book American Anthroposophy [3]), this system of falsehoods harms not only the world, but also the essential nature of Anthroposophy itself and Rudolf Steiner’s true legacy. People searching out Anthroposophy will naturally look to the Society and Movement for appreciating and understanding this New Mystery. To the extent the Society and Movement are flawed, this will be seen by many to represent what Anthroposophy is in practice. It shouldn’t take much thought to realize that the representing of Anthroposophy in any kind of seriously flawed way will only lead to harm.”


The ongoing Covid23x crisis is easily the most crucial challenge in the present, for a true science of the spirit, in which anthroposophists justly believe.

There is a point to the term “23x”. As we know (sort of) the Covid virus is allegedly altering and adapting to our efforts to subdue it. 23 is a well known mystical number, and if you think that is foolish, just consider that “23” is the tenth prime number [2a], while “x” refers in algebra to the unknown factor. Forming an imaginative poetic mystical&magical sense of this Crisis may aide in knowing and understanding the “pandemic’s” mystery.

This work in this essay is directed at looking ahead, into the future of the future, while managing (hopefully) to do so with less fear and hysteria than has been our karma so far, as we search the: Situational Reality Following the Social Fire labled the Covid Pandemic.

A basic assumption of this post is that in the near future we will find out that there were a lot of lies (Big Pharma), too much hysteria (major Media), and incompetent actions (politicians)


Reading Rudolf Steiner gives a kind of knowledge and understanding of much. At the same time, he pointed out the influence of egotism in the beginning of the Path. Part of me feels strongly that I know a lot. That I know better. Tend to argue, or be contrary. In myself I came to recognize a type of thinking (one of many), which it made sense to label: comparative, or discriminatory thinking. It seems rooted in antipathy, or our instinct to dislike something or someone.

There was a recent moment where I listened to myself talk, and thought: “What an ass”.

A few days ago I participated as a listener/addendee to an American Anthroposophical Society webinar, featuring Lisa Romero [4] & [5]. Its “name” was: “The Spiritual Origin of Conspiracy”. I will try to limit what is here discussed, inspired by that talk. No promises though.

A big clue/key for me came late in the oral/video presentation, where she pointed to this idea (in my own words): Steiner spoke of something he called “the great conspiracy”, which is that folks do not know the spiritual world exists. Given that the truth lives in the ethereal, these spiritless-thoughts hardens our ethereal life, such that our consciousness looses flexibility.

She began by asking: “why are more folk not having an experience of the ethereal Christ?

She went forward then, illuminating her sense of the value of “fasting”, especially in times of religious Festivals. She added in research she had done on various scientists’ studies of fasting and consciousness. She spoke of a kind separation of the (my word’s): heart’s mind from the body during fasting, and thus connecting astral/desire body to our own cosmic nature.

Often in the morning after a night’s sleep, she explained, we then wake with something closer to the mystery. As a shaman, I write of the eight gates of Faerie, coming in pairs …. one of which is the borderland between waking&sleeping (its elemental nature in Hermetics is air/intellect). [6]

I’ve done two long fasts. The first, at age 42, began with illness, and continued for a moon period (about 29 days), before the fever fully rebated. One aspect of this involved me asking a question: what should my writing and thinking be like? The experience of the Wind in my soul sang: “music”.

The second fast lasted 45 days, and I was then 64 (will you still need me, when I’m 64 – I’m now 80). I had began the fast, not seeking spiritual experience, but rather needing to lose weight. About two weeks in I starting having “insights”, which were mostly conceptual, with an emphasis on the harmonic relationships of ideas. I took notes every night’s morning, and after the fast I spent the next year writing my first work: The Way of the Fool” … the subtitle: “the conscious development of our human character, and the future* of Christianity – both to be born out of the natural union of Faith and Gnosis”[7]

My central effort in this work was to create a bridge between exoteric (Faith) and esoteric (Gnosis) Christianity.

Later Lisa Romero spoke of our sense of “something is not right”, and I even heard her use the term “unclean”. That’s a bit harsh in my view, and my teacher of the ancient Egyptian Hermetic Science, aka: magic, makes this statement: “There is nothing unclean in the whole of the Creation”.

Towards the end of her talk, after laying out the “Conspiracy” to hide the existence of the world of spirit, she offers this:

The Four General Demands for Esoteric Development, Rudolf Steiner

1) No unproven concepts shall enter my consciousness.

2) There shall stand before my soul, a living obligation to continually increase the number of my concepts.

3) Knowledge will come to me about such things, the “Yes” or “No” of which I regard without sympathy or antipathy.

4) I must overcome my aversion to the so-called “abstract”.

Easy to say, hard to do. I would like to add here Steiner’s remarks about us needing to take three steps in character development, for each step in spiritual development.

Sometimes it feels to me as if too many anthroposophist’s don’t notice that the Mystery is not going to place all of Her/His eggs in just one basket (the teachings of RS). We need to open our hearts to other spiritual voices. Yes, many do, but sometimes I feel that the leadership of the Society belongs mostly to the best and most erudite Steiner quoters, when their vision should be wider and more inclusive.

Keep in mind that a lot happened after Steiner died, which he never experienced. World War II, the fear of the atomic bomb, the cold war, the ‘60’s – a worldwide Dionysian festival, the Vietnam War, the assassinations of major American leaders, 9/11, the near collapse of the whole world’s economy centered around the year 2008 – also something born mostly in America, increased drug use, and then the topper: the Internet, smart phones, and massive electronic surveillance.

When Lisa Romero was lamenting that something is not right, and where were the meetings of Christ in the Ethereal, my mind suggested that parallel to all these changes, the New World generated music the Old World did not have. Certain artists seemed to me to be connected to the spirit in important ways, such as: Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Moody Blues [7a], … jazz bequeaths rock ‘n roll, which becomes world beat then reggae and eventually delivering in the American minority ghettos: hip hop.

The latter is reduced to the bear fundamentals of music, rhythm and rhyme. All you need is some friends, a couple of upside-down five gallon plastic empty paint cans, a few sticks, and off you go. Everywhere in the world today there are hip hop groups, often building bridges over divisions, such as the ones in the middle east, made up of both Israelis and Palestinians.

The experience of Christ in the Ethereal is everywhere. It appears most often in deeds, as it should. He does not deliver our spiritual needs expecting credit. Neither does She. They act, we are helped, with the core social fact being that the individual human being is a source of spirit. In my book, The Art of God – an actual theory of Everything [8], I point out that the Mystery is “distributed” – is everywhere, and the human being – collectively – is the leading creative edge.

In my Goethanistic studies of the social world, it was clear that so-called historical events are secondary effects of the core aspect of earth existence, which is that each individual biography is a primary locus of Love. His baptism of us, via Fire and Holy Breath, is offered to each human being, even the ones we tend to call: evil.

As an aspect of my social studies, I have spent a lot of time paying attention to the visual dramatic arts, that can be seen in film and television. Artists see, they just don’t make it a head trip. Let me give one concrete example.

Clint Eastwood, a major artist in our time, made a film called: “Gran Torino”. In it he plays a crusty widowed man, whose new next door neighbors are Hmong, mountain folk from the area of Vietnam and Thailand. They interact, he becomes involved, and one of their daughters is raped by Hmong gangsters in the neighborhood.

He has questions about what is moral. He has been a life long Catholic, and consults with a young priest. The priest’s well intended platitudes are useless, the real problem far to complex. There is a scene that takes place in the older man’s kitchen. He is standing with his arms crossed, leaning against a counter top. A young Hmong boy, brother of the raped girl, is demanding his new older friend do something. “Why are you silent? Why are you not acting?”

His reply: “I’m thinking”.

Inwardly in all of us, when faced with modern moral trials, we discover that neither our religious ways, or the social life’s urgings, can answer the riddle, which is fundamentally individual. She/He/They – the Mystery – are guiding us to the moments, where we must, to be true to ourselves, create the moral deed out of nothing.

Keep in mind Steiner’s ideas in The Philosophy of Freedom: moral imagination; moral intuition; and moral technique.

I have written about this “experience” in many places [9]. From Steiner’s indications, I have spent decades engaged in an empirical (scientific) study of my own soul/mind. When we make the choice and begin to act in relationship to the baptisms by Fire of our time, our will is aided via the most subtle (hard to observe) Wind (Holy Breath) in the soul. To our will is added His, guided by our choices.

One final (?) comment. Over the course of my life, I’ve had several personal encounters with the Burning Bush, the Ethereal Christ, and the Holy Mother. What was refreshing – and bit curious given all the spiritual “teachings” everywhere – was that They (the Mystery) did not expect perfection. They wanted us to be who we wanted to be. In fact, They and their friends (such as guardian angels) were mostly interested in the choices we were making, and I could often feel the “presence” sort of looking over my shoulder – as it were – in waiting wonder. [10]

[1] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/oajnr.html

[2] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/DangerousAnthroposophy.html

[2a] In my view 1 is “the” prime number, which is why I see 23, not 29, as the tenth prime number. A minor quibble in the field of theoretical arithmetic.

[3] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/AmericanAnthroposophy.html

[4] email address: innerworkpathusa@gmail.com

[5] website: https://www.innerworkpath.com/

[6] living&dying (fire/will); remembering&forgetting (consciousness/earth); madness&sanity (water/feeling). Atypical experience of living and dying we call a near-death experience.

[7] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/twotf.html … the work consists of twelve stanzas, divided into three sets of four each: Moral Grace, Freedom, and Love. For example the fifth stanza reads: “fifth stanza: Three New Ways – being an examination of the profound and surprising interrelationship between the What Would Jesus Do Movement; the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous; and, Rudolf Steiner’s book: The Philosophy of Freedom (also known as, The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity,) [which stanza also contains, the Shepherd’s Tale, the King’s Tale and the Healers’ Tale]”

[7a] In 1978, the Moody Blues released an album, which spoke of the Second Coming of Christ, in this song: “One Step Into the Light” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM0ponoqbxM&ab_channel=TheMoodyBlues-Topic In that song there is a refrain: “all the old things are returning, cosmic cycles ever turning” They did not just mean Christ in their works but also the Mother and Her friends. I went to a concert that year, and they saved this song for the encore. When it was done, the crowd was standing, applauding and yelling. The flautist, Ray Thomas, stepped forward, and raise his soprano and alto flutes in the shape of the Cross, and the roar of the crowd doubled.

[8] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html

[9] “pragmatic moral psychology” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/stgfr5.html and “Living Thinking in Action” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/liveT.html

[10] This last link concerns my personal development, in this sense “ Familiar Spirits, and the Education of a Shaman”. Sure, I struggled to be a “writer”, but a great deal grew out of contributions from the Mystery, without which I would have little to say. https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2021/02/17/3008/

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1 Comment

  1. It’s like reading exactly what you needed to read at the right time. Thank you deeply for this.


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