Requiescet in pace (rest in peace) Rudolf Steiner
A new year awaits. Habits need to be changed, or death results. Where, today, is the Fae spirit we knew as Rudolf Steiner? What did he mean when he said he was joining his karma to that of the Society?
In the Imaginative world, his shade can be found wrapped in chains, where each link is forged from our endless quoting of his words.
Might the future of “Anthroposophy” depend upon our releasing him from such imprisonment and torment? In the last sentence of the original preface, to the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, he writes: “One must be able to confront an idea, and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage.”
Is it possible that our ideas of Steiner are too much fiction and fantasy?
Carl Stegmann said that the reason the Society fell apart, after Steiner “died”, was that instead of looking for him, as a living quality in the world of the dead, they fell upon the books of now dead thoughts, and worshiped them and his shade.
Emerson nailed it here: from his lecture at Harvard in 1837: The American Scholar:
“Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system. The one thing in the world, of value, is the active soul. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although in almost all men obstructed and as yet unborn. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth, or creates. In this action it is genius; not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every man. In its essence it is progressive. The book, the college, the school of art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius. This is good, say they – let us hold by this. They pin me down. They look backward and not forward. But genius looks forward: the eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead: man hopes: genius creates. Whatever talents may be, if the man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity is not his; cinders and smoke there may be, but not yet flame. There are creative manners, there are creative actions, and creative words; manners, actions, words, that is, indicative of no custom or authority, but springing spontaneous from the mind’s own sense of good and fair.”