Stillborn – a review of the book “Fire Borne – Anthroposophy in America”
[Sometimes, to go into the Future we must understand the Past. For the Rudolf Steiner work to properly Live into Tomorrow, anthroposophists must accept a new influx of Spiritual Inspiration … for this Inspiration flows from the Source in a never ending Stream, and Itself is the Locus of Spiritual Life. To rely only on Steiner, is to bow to the Forces of Death. As Goethe has put it, Life is a process of Dying into Becoming.]
This may seem odd, but I believe that one of the reasons I incarnated was to be able to save the true legacy of Rudolf Steiner from the so very human folly of his students. What is that legacy? The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, aka: The Philosophy of Freedom.
It is more crucial that we, who admire and love him, spend less time with our noses in his books and lectures, and instead take up the riddle of the empirical examination of our own thinking activity, following the methods of natural science. On this path we will come to know the meaning of the last sentence in the original preface to PoF: “One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise we will fall into its bondage.”
“Fire Borne” is a book by Jean W. Yeager, a life long “anthroposophist”, or one who is a student of Rudolf Steiner. Without a doubt this is on one level a monumental book, and earnestly meant. When I first heard of it in pre-publication stage, I ordered a copy, with a certain amount of dread. Sadly, my anticipations of its weaknesses has proved to be correct.
I met Steiner through his books in 1978, and not too much later joined the Anthroposophical Society, and then later its studies called First Class Lessons. For the first I got a blue card, and for the second a pink card (or is it the other way around?), both signifying my membership. About seven years ago, I divorced myself, and in a personal ceremony burned both cards on the deck of my home. I was fed up with what lived in the Society. Thus the use of the term Stillborn, by which I mean: a proposal or plan having failed to develop or succeed.
For complicated reasons I have just rejoined the Society and seek to rejoin the First Class.
During the years of my membership I coined two terms: Steinerism and Spiritual Imperialism. By Steinerism I mean the practice of Anthroposophy that is fundamentally religious in nature – the vain belief that quoting him always reveals the truth; and, by Spiritual Imperialism I describe what was done by the influx of European anthroposophists, which then ran over the true spiritual Nature of America, and the Americas.
Three stories next will indicate the phenomena, keeping mind that there could be hundreds of such stories.
When I was first living in Fair Oaks, California, and participating in the anthroposophical work there, there was to be a special meeting of the Faust* Branch of the Society, to celebrate 35 years of existence. In preparation I gathered stories of those who had been involved, and then meditated on these stories to see what such an overview would achieve. I was then gifted with an Imagination, which is a kind spiritual intercourse where the own spirit, and the deeper spirit co-produce a living image.
The image was divided into two related pictures, one is sketched in blue, and the other sketched in red. I have revisited this teaching over the years, finding deeper and more subtle meanings. The blue image was to the left, the other to the right.
The left imagine was of a man – a European, up off the ground so to speak, and he was surrounded by three acolytes (Americans), also above the ground and looking up adoringly at the one above them. The right image was of a man – another European, sitting on a low brick wall, in the posture of the art work known as The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin.
Near him, either laying on the ground, or leaning against the wall, lay three other figures, also Americans. The man in the air wore the visage of Rene Querido – the head of Rudolf Steiner College, and the siting man wore the visage of Carl Stegmann, who ran a group called the Emerson Study Group, of which I had been a member, and also a writer for Stegmann’s magazine, called America in The Threefold World. These writings included a short article on the question of whether or not the Steiner work was the expected return of Elder Brother, as described in the Hopi Prophecy. My later elaboration of that piece can be found in “The Mystery of the True White Brother” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/eldbr.html and, “the Songs of a True White Brother” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/twbhp.html
The last issue contained my first effort at social/political phenomenology: “Listening to the World Song”, which was later elaborated in “Listening to the World Song, part one” – A brief Application of the Principles of Goetheanistic Thinking to the Problems of Human Social and Political Existence: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/lttwspo.html and “Listening to the World Song, part two” – Macro and micro aspects of the Mystery of Evil in Modern Times, as these play themselves out in the social-political organism of humanity. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/lttwspt.html
Carl was a retired Christian Community priest – one of the original priests, and had actually meet Rudolf Steiner. He had studied America for years, and published several books and papers on America. Books: “The Other America – The Western World in the Light of Spiritual Science” in two parts. “Ralph Waldo Emerson – Forerunner of the Future”. “The Third Call – Apocalyptic Destiny and Future of America in the Light of Anthroposophy” Also a small paper: “The Time of the Eagles – Gaining a Spiritual Picture of America”.
As far as I know, few American anthroposophists have read these important books.
Rene was an expert in Waldorf Education in Europe. Carl had stood up at an early meeting of the Faust* Branch, and urged the development of a school, where two impulses would be worked upon. One was to be an introduction to Anthroposophy, and the other a place for the study of the Spiritual America.
I’ll skip the details, except to say that Rene was hired to run the introduction section, and the local community sought funds and bought land. One student of Carl’s quit his job and spent a year in England, deepening his studies of Goethean Science. When he returned, the impulse had become solely a center for training Waldorf Teachers, and the America Studies work lay in the dust.
As far as I know, Carl’s works, some still in print, are not studied much at all – which is a deep loss to students of Steiner everywhere in the world. When Carl left at age 85 to return to Europe, he called a meeting of those who had worked with him.
I remember two fundamental aspects. First, he said that the Society had made a big mistake after Steiner died, by looking to find him in his books, instead of the World of the Dead. Second, he urged us to learn to think properly, at which point he gestured with his right hand, and kind of cupped it behind his head. He had coined the term clair-thinking – in his writing, a modification the idea of clairvoyance, the former being something I have been able to achieve.
Later re-studies of this Imagination, revealed that the blue color signified the fact that European Anthroposophy was carried on a fundamentally artistic and feeling connection to the spirit world above, while the red color referred to the fire of will seeking the spirit on the earth.
Additionally, I came to realize that the soul life of the European had a less dense aspect in the astral body, than was the nature of the American soul. This lack of astral density is what pushed the blue figures off the earth, disconnected from the soil of America.
Steiner, in his work: Geographic Medicine, speaks of the difference in the Doubles of the Americas, from the nature of the Doubles of Europeans. He said that it was crucial for doctors to study this soul phenomena in order the heal. I lived with an anthroposophical doctor for five years, and when I asked her about the study of the Double by doctors in America, she replied it never came up.
[ my main work on the Double is here: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/mysteryofevil.html ]
Another, much shorter story … When I was living in Concord MA, to be a part of Stuart Weeks work: The Center for American Studies at Concord, he and I, along with the artist Larry Young, set up a conference: “Conversation in America”. I had written a letter to Marjorie Spock, who lived nearby in Vermont, asking her to come and participate. She declined, noting in passing that the Europeans, running around America talking up Steiner-said was a disaster. She also quoted from a Steiner lecture, to be found in the East and West lectures, that Central Europeans could not export their work to other cultures, because they lacked the ability to see into their different lives of soul.
At a meeting in a circle at that Conference, I spoke of American culture, and the European sitting next to me, figuratively looking down his nose at me said: “What culture?”
One last tale …
When I returned to Fair Oaks, after a 21 year absence, at the first meeting of the Faust* Branch, it was the same people running things as had held that “office” before, and basically doing the same things. I spoke up, and suggested that this was odd, because something truly living will change over time. Only one council member there seem to get it.
I was also then helping my anthroposophical doctor girl friend re-inaugurate the medical practice there. During that process we had many conversations with Americans, who told us stories about how Rene, and the prior doctor Christa, who had returned to Europe, often told Americans that they were captured by the spirit known as Ahriman.
An additional curiosity – during my initial years in Fair Oaks, I came to wonder why there were no backyard barbecues or cocktail parties, the usual type of social gatherings of Americans. No intoxications, no dancing. Eurythmy is elitist, and dancing to Rock ‘n Roll is a crucial form of emotional expression.
With this back ground, let us consider in detail Yeager’s book: “Fire Borne – Anthroposophy in America.” “Fire Borne” meant what followed after the burning of the first Goetheanum, and included the recognition of the ongoing attacks on Anthroposophy in Europe.
On a certain level this work is truly amazing. The amount of detail and research into anthroposophical history in America, from 1886 to the present, is extraordinary. The author should be applauded.
No work is perfect however, so I am going to suggest some additional considerations, to round out the pictures he presented.
The cultural wave theory: order, awaken, unravel, crisis, order, awaken, unravel, crisis, is on the surface a reasonable historical phenomenology, yet remains fixated on the historical surfaces, without seeking what is happening to the soul life of individual human beings, who live through these events. I provide details of how this actually works in the individual biography in my new collection of essays: “Pagan Anthroposophy”. https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2023/04/17/pagananthroposophy/
This theory of history is laid out in the book: “The Fourth Turning” … by William Strauss and Neil Howe
1774-1822 Order … Federal Era – a period of 48 years
1822-1844 Awaken … Transcendental 22 years
1844-1860 Unravel … Sectionalism 16 years
1860-1865 Crisis … U.S. Civil War 5 years
1865-1885 Order … Guilded Age 20 years
1886-1907 Awaken … 2nd Great Awakening 21 years
1908-1928 Unravel … WWI Prohibition 20 years
1929-1946 Crisis … Great Depression 20 years
1947-1963 Order … America Super Power 16 years “Stability”
1964-1984 Awaken … Counterculture Consciousness 20 years
1985-2004 Unravel … Culture War 19 years
2004-2026 Crisis … The Great Unraveling 22 years
(in my work, this fits in with a larger period – now unfolding: the Dying and Becoming of “Western” Civilization)
Jean W. Yeager begins his observations of crucial events, for each year, starting with 1886. Each individual year has a list of events, some political, some cultural. For example, his observations for that year include such factoids as “Karl Marx, publishes “Das Capital”, and “Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Included in these remarks are reports on various developments in the spiritual life of Europe, including material on Madame Blavatsky and Col. Olcott.
Some years have a lot of factoids, and for the purposes of the book, are also very rich in details as to the unfolding of the Anthroposophical Society in America. As I read this detailed material, I noticed certain absences. Some of which are not problematic, yet they are spiritually important for the Society and the World. What I have written below is those observations, which I feel might enliven his presentation.
There is an additional Way, contained in my book on political and social phenomena: “The Art of God – an actual theory of Everything”. In this book I took the religious ideas, and recast them as theory, which I develop as giving a far better explanation of the world then that decreed by Unnatural Scientific Materialism (all is matter, there is no spirit). http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html
In that book I show that the primary creative events take place in the individual biography, which is the Focus of Love. The surface events – described by Yeager are secondary effects of the essential purpose, not the other way around. As I read his text, I penciled in some notes, and these follow in the order of the main text.
For example, I found it a serious weakness to not discuss the American Revolution, as well as the Transcendentalists, such as Emerson and Thoreau. Also the American personality: Clara Barton, who founded the International Red Cross.
My spiritual research discovers that she, and George Washington, were Bodhisattva incarnations of the future Maitreya Buddha, as I appear to be. In 1940, my body brother was born on December 23rd, In 1971, he surrenderd his biography to me, as described by Steiner’s remarks about whether or not the young Indian boy was a Bodhisattva – saying there is nothing apparently remarkable about the first personality.
What is a Bodhisattva?
Just about everything Steiner wrote about this he got wrong. He knew only the outside, not the inside. In a sense a Bodhisattva is a three-part being. There is the first personality that lives in a body for about 31 to 33 years. This “person” is a strong empath, and an innocent. A kind of blank slate. The world impresses itself on him/her, not the other way around. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Joey.html
When he/she leaves – their ego as it were, and they don’t have much of an ego at all – then we get the entrance of the fool. This why Tomberg speaks of this in his Meditations on the Tarot, in the Letter “the Fool”
They are impelled in a way to try to correct the wrongs, or puzzles of that life that the fool receives from the innocent, when they take over the physical, ethereal, and astral body left behind. In this case the innocent didn’t understand evil, or why Christianity was so “weak”. Not only that, the condition of American politics was clearly quite a bit less than ideal.
So I had to work on those questions, and make whatever headway I could in understanding them, and what might be done concerning these problems. I ended up with good ideas, most of which will never be applied. I write a lot of books and essays nobody reads.
At stages in my biography, Christ touches me, the God Jehovah touches me, and the Holy Mother touches me. Along the way, I start to experience the “Wind” in my soul, which I call sometimes: the presence of Fullness, and the fullness of Presence. Not me, although I get to drive, following the innocent’s riddles, but without the Wind I am nothing. This leads to initiations, when again Christ and the Mother touch me. Because of the Mother, I need to call myself a “shaman”, not an initiate.
Tomberg sez that in the final stage – or incarnation, a Deity called the Kalki Avatar becomes involved, and that’s when we get the Maitreya Buddha. Not the innocent, or the fool. Lately I feel “It?”, as a kind of pressure, an inner sensation I do not like. I have enough trouble dealing with my Double, which apparently is a Moon Archi, who held Itself back so as to do the job of nagging me, and lying to me.
To get an even weirder map, the higher beings live in the Eternal Now, and on a certain level all of us are united by the Father Principle, who maintains the state where everything is connected to everything else. Me, the Fool, and also the Innocent, are aspects of the Mystery, the same way every human being is an aspect of the Mystery of the One and the Many.
Each individual biography is, within the realm of the reach of their own will, the little mystery. I call our freedom the beast from the abyss of the uncreated and yet to be formed.
My main task in this life, apparently, was to read a whole lot of books, including the Goethean scientists, Steiner, Tomberg, Clarke, MacCoun, and so forth. I am really good at being a “student”, but I’m never going to be a Great Teacher. That might be the Kalki Avatar.
Also, Divine Providence – the Mother – led me to all those books, even though I was always poor, the money needed was also there. Fate and Fortune, or the Artist of Karma and Divine Providence, have been very kind to me. Some examples:
In 1997, I had two heart attacks, on the same day, already in the ER. In 2008, I met my lady Linda, and we’ve been together ever since. When we moved Paxton MA, I found my way (by accident?) to Fallon Navicare, an HMO, that takes my excellent Mass Health, and Medicare, and I have had two major hospitalizations, a dozen or more ambulence rides, and many many prescriptions, and never paid a cent. Been on social security since 2003. The Mother takes very care of me, for which I am ever so grateful in my prayers.
Lest one think I have been idle, I have 18 years in low paid mental health, including 9 years of the “graveyard” shift, where I gained 100 pounds drinking two liters of coke each night for the sugar and the caffeine (lost it later, mostly through illness). Another ten years as a grill cook in restaurants, and the last three years before going on social security, I worked in light industrial factory.
Read my stuff, but don’t expect me to be anything other the grumpy old man in possession of a really good library.
Those who read this, and have a strong negative reaction as to the truths above, are invited to be scientific in their approach. If you don’t know my works, you can’t see, or judge me. Here is a link to some of my works on science: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/some-of-joel-wendts-writings-on-the-science-of-the-future/ Here is a link to research on Anthroposophy: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/anthroposophy.html On American politics: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/americanpolitics.html On Christianity: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/christianity.html. This is my CV http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/thetree,html If you don’t study my work, you are in no position to disagree as to my identity.
My main web-presence these days is at: https://thecollectiveimagination.com Its title as it were: “finding the path to the future through the gateways of the past”
It needs to be understood that I am a Christian, more than an anthroposophist, and another previous incarnation was as St. Matthew.
A Bodhisattva is just one among many, neither leader or teacher. A servant washing the feet of those who might wander into the Bodhisattva’s works. On occasion some of my incarnations might be famous, but even there I am just one among many. Washington was just one of those involved in the Founding. Barton just one of those involved in the Civil War. Matthew just one among the disciples and others, such as St. Paul and all the various saints, male and female, that contributed to the development of Christianity.
History is full of famous people, especially in the arts. Mozart and Bob Marley meant a lot more to humanity than these “Bodhisattvas”. In the present, I am just trying to help Steiner’s work survive the folly of his readers.
Yeager’s book does not mention all of Steiner’s works on epistemology, such as GA-2: Goethe’s Theory of Knowledge – 1886. Owen Barfield called that book the least read, most important book Steiner ever wrote. Steiner’s dissertation: GA-3 “Truth and Knowledge” – 1892 is also not included in Yeager’s book. Steiner’s GA-4 “The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity” – 1894 is mentioned, and the three books collectively are a “science of knowing”.
When I wrote of this period of history in my book: “the Way of the Fool” – after a 45 day fast, http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/twotf.html, I noted that at the same time Steiner was gifting the world with these works on a science of knowledge, a young American pastor, Charles M. Sheldon wrote “In His Steps”, which founded the “what would Jesus do” movement, – the book selling 50 million copies world wide. Interest in it was revived in the 1970’s. In addition, “Alcoholics Anonymous” – also not mentioned in Yeager’s book – was founded in 1935, basically inspired by Christ and the Holy Mother.
In “the Way of the Fool”, I describe how In His Steps, and AA, both reveal an instinctive feel for the way of knowledge in GA-4. “One can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way.” Letters to the workmen, 3 August 1923.
The purpose of “the Way of the Fool” was to create a bridge between esoteric and exoteric Christianity. http://ibwebdev.com/hermit/twotf.html
Around 1900, both Owen Barfield, Franz Bardon, and Valentin Tomberg were born. All were “initiates”, and the import of these facts is that the Mystery was planting seeds in other places, besides Anthroposophy. Steiner did not have all the wisdom the world needed.
Carl Stegmann was born around the same time, and his travels to America in the 1970’s led to the foundation of Rudolf Steiner College, in Fair Oaks, CA. Recall that he stood up at a meeting of the Faust* Branch, and suggested the founding of a school where Anthroposophy could be studied. In addition he wanted the school to contain an America Studies Section, which, as I noted, did not happen.
*[“Faust” has nothing whatsoever to do with the American Soul. Carl’s Emerson study group got it, … that work here needed to recognize our cultural icons. It would be possible to report on very many experiences, where the European anthroposophists reveal their lack of understanding of Americans.]
In passing, it should be noted that for 20 years the two leading centers for creating Waldorf teachers were led by Europeans, a foolishness even Marjorie Spock noted to me in her private letter. When we get to PLANS, this fact becomes even more important. My studies of Waldorf Education are here: “The Social-Spiritual Organism of a Waldorf School Community” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/ssows.html and Waldorf Charter Schools in America: some social observations http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wcsma.html
Steiner’s gift of the “America Verse” has tended to cement the idea that he actually knew enough about the spirituality of the Americas, that we American anthroposophists should study him, more than our own cultural genius. The net effect of this weakness is that American culture is seldom celebrated in Society circles. American anthroposophists tend to look to European culture, and to the past, somehow forgetting Steiner had died, while assuming – unconsciously perhaps – that Christ and the Holy Mother had not inspired any others than Steiner and his best students: the Goethean scientists.
I once heard Virginia Sease remark that it was quite a complement that Europeans thought that she was very German. I also heard that she had criticized “science fiction”. This form a literature is filled with wisdom, and why she thought that is tragic. Yeager’s book referred to Ursula K. Le Guin’s work on the history of education, without mentioning she has contributed greatly to the world of imaginative speculative fiction.
A favorite book of mine is her work: “The Dispossesed – an ambiguous utopia”.
In it she creates a vision of a world which essentially tries to practice what Steiner meant ideally in his book – a kind of functional anarchy: “The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity”. Her main character is a physicist, who is working on trying to develop a way to unite the study of the sequential, with the simultaneous.
I have spent some time on this riddle, and recently published this: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2023/02/14/some-reflections-on-the-truth-value-of-modern-theoretical-physics/
During my Fair Oaks years, I also listened to the head of the Medical Section use this phrase: “we know through Rudolf Steiner that … “
Steiner, himself, was very explicit in how he used the term “knowledge”. First phrase, first sentence, first leading thought: “Anthroposophy is a path of cognition … ” GA-2 through to GA-4 are about “knowledge”, and he uses the word “understanding” in the prefaces to both Theosophy and Occult Science. A subtle observation, given how much weight is give to his every word (Steinerism). Reading does not give knowledge, only direct experience. Sometimes reading inspires our cognitive activity, which then can touch the spiritual truth. In such cases, it would be best not to quote Steiner, but to offer what lives in your own experience of the thought (ethereal) world.
Ahriman was born in America, on December 25th, 1950, with the name Karl Christian Rove. His work gave two governorships, and two presidencies to George W. Bush, while laying the foundation for Trump and the overreaching of Christians into politics. 9/11 happened while he was in the White House as an aide to Bush. Tolkien’s idea of the crafty servant “worm-tongue” comes to mind
People who disagree with me about Rove, just have opinions, and choose to ignore my extensive research. A principle problem is that phrase in Steiner’s “Lucifer and Ahriman”, where it is usually translated that Ahriman will incarnate before “only” a part of the Third Millennium has past. The word “only” should be “even” – before even a part … has past. See The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium, which appendix was called: When did Rudolf Steiner Expect the Incarnation of Ahriman? by Hans-Peter van Manen. Even when I explain that, all manner of anthroposophist still assert his incarnation is in our future, not our present.
Yeager’s book has this factoid: “The Beetles album Sargent Pepper changed Rock ‘n Roll”. My experience of the ‘60’s, was that Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Bob Marley (all artists in the Americas) did. More important is to recognize that Rock had huge social effects all over the world, creating a gap between young people and their older generation – essentially upending the forces Steiner called: the group soul.
On multiple levels, the 1970’s in America also changed the film industry world wide, including how women were seen … not housewives like Doris Day, or sex-pots like Marilyn Monroe, but warriors like Princes Lea in the Star Wars saga, Ellen Ripley in the Alien series, and Sarah Connors in the Terminator movies.
I was active in the Steiner internet when PLANS appeared, and fought those wars for over a half dozen years. Dan Dugan had children in the San Francisco Waldorf School. He ran a technology business, and had good scientific credentials. He had scientific questions for the teachers, for which their European based training had not prepared them. The teachers tended to be true believers in Steinerism (and unfamiliar with Goethean Science), and seemed not just ignorant, but arrogant – quite possibly capable of harming children.
Some years ago I met a young Waldorf kindergarten teacher, who said her karma was with the parents, not the children.
Families were being broken up, when one parent did not desire Waldorf. To be on this PLANS discussion list was to encounter real – and very human – soul pain. I wrote some articles on Waldorf, where a main element was the difference between those who treated Waldorf as closed system, and those who recognized that a kindergarten German black forest table, does not fit in with the real soul nature of the students.
The American soul in the children was not being recognized.
In the 1970’s, my home housed the Cadmus Library of Steiner material. It included several file boxes of early Anthroposophical Newsletters. Over time I looked through them all, seeking for, and never finding, any mention of the real significance of differences in the soul nature of Central Europe and the American Soul. In fact, when I first moved to Fair Oaks in the ‘70’s, I was struck by the fact that the language used in that community gave little or no evidence that the ‘60’s had ever happened. As I studied this phenomena, I noted that on a social level, German has two words for you, one formal and one informal. Meanwhile, Americans wear their hearts on their sleeves, a quality the Europeans did not know how to meet.
From 1997 to 2003, the Culmination happened on an Internet discussion group called “the Ark”. Probably nothing is more serious than the failure of the anthroposophical traditionalists to acknowledge the Goddess Natura. The Americas are very different geographically, and their deep spiritual ways are Earth religions, where the Underworld and the Mother are studied directly. We don’t make “initiates” here, we make “shamans (Clarke), wizards (Wendt), and magicians (MacCoun) ”. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Culmination.html
Where in this “Fire Borne” book did Yeager reference the American Indian, and their amazing influence on American Culture? Early European books on America, such as Carl Stegmann’s “The Other America: the West in the light of Spiritual Science”; Detrich V. Asten’s “America’s Way” and then F. W. Zeylmans van Emmichover’s “America and Americanism” – made no mention of the significance of America’s Native Peoples.
Only an American, Sylvester M. Morley, would generate: “American Indians and our way of life” giving examples of how our soul life was different from that of the Europeans, and far more like the Native Americans. For example, he explained the team sports were created here, and that Europe was rooted in the Olympics, where individual skill are celebrated. This booklet was an address given in a Waldorf School in 1961, not published until the end of the ’60’s. Steiner, meanwhile, hadn’t helped, … in one lecture he referred to the Indians as “savages”.
My observations of the spiritual present suggest that Europe gave us three initiates, who works should be married to each other – Steiner unveils thinking as a Way, Tomberg demonstrates mystical feeling as a Way, and Bardon develops training the will as a Way. Understanding their works is crucial, if we want to introduce into Anthroposophical work fresh spiritual insight.
Meanwhile, out of the Culmination meeting on the Ark (we had no idea what we were about) we get three American “shamans, wizards, and magicians”: aka: initiates in both the Christ Mysteries, and the Earth Mysteries of the Mother..
In my own work I unite the Hermetic Science of the ancient Egyptians with Anthroposophical Spiritual Science. Again, see my book: “Pagan Anthroposophy”. https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2023/04/17/pagananthroposophy/
Stephen Clarke unites Kabbalah with Native American Cosmology, and has written a remarkable essay: “The Sacred Geometry of our Ancestral Pathways” (to obtain a copy send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a 15k word file. Also, his remarks on the Mexican Mysteries, which detail how to know where Christ went on Saturn day, from His Crucifixion to His Resurrection. http:ipwebdev.com/hermit/Clarke5.html .
Catherine MacCoun unites Tibetan and Christian Alchemy, in “On Becoming an Alchemist – a guide for the modern magician” https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Alchemist-Guide-Modern-Magician/dp/1590306872/ref=sr_1_1?crid=XPTNP1TBKCF5&keywords=on+becoming+an+alchemist+-+catherine+maccoun&qid=1682775029&sprefix=On+becoming+an+%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-1
We three were at the Culmination, along with Steiner, as he promised. His name then was Harvey Bornfield. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/HarveyBornfield.html The last time I saw his spirit, he was in the Realm of the “All Surround Everywhere When”.
Those ancient past-truths (Hermetic Science, Kabbalah, and Tibetan Alchemy) are still true today. They represent a remarkable treasure, were anthroposophists in America to choose to pay attention, and stop practicing Steinerism. Most of us have some sense of Tibetan Buddhism, but we should not forget that their original “religion/science” was know by the name Bon – an indigenous Way, and was deeply magical, a quality tempered by the arrival of Buddhist teachings. Certain occult writings suggest that Bon is a remnant of Atlantean magical knowledge.
My understanding, of what might best help humanity for the future, is that a connection needs to be formed between esoteric and exoteric Christianity. Not on an institutional level, however – via individuals. For those details see: “Saving the Catholic (universal and Christian) Religion, from the failing institutional Church, via deepening our understanding of the Third Fatima Prophecy” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/SavingCatholicReligion.html
The day I posted that lengthy article to the Internet, while walking down our driveway to put a Netflix DVD in our mail box, a sea of squirrels (over fifty) ran back and forth in front of me, chirping and dancing. The Goddess Natura seemed to have approved.
A second possibility to help the whole world has to do with this: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2023/01/17/celebration/
In it I urge the inauguration of a Spring Michaelic Festival on Earth Day, where environmentally awake organizations file law suits, whose basic idea is that Nature is Alive and fully conscious, such that: “If a Corporation can be a Person before the Law, then certainly a Planet can be a Person before the Law”. See: https://thecollectiveimagination.com/shamans-law-firm/
These next two links are to two searchable pages on my blog entries (which number in the hundreds), should one want to know more of my “credentials”.
Thomas O’Keefe recently published this, in his “Deepening Anthroposophy”
I have no desire to be believed. I do science, and doubt is where you start. By rejoining the Society, my work is to serve. Don’t want any offices. Physical restraints – at age 82 – make travel difficult, although I hope to visit Society venues in Boston and New York State – which are not too distant from where I in live in Paxton, which is in central Massachusetts. Visitors are welcome at our home, with some advance warning.
One last offering, a poem: “the gift of the word” [ best results if read aloud, with an occasional rush of words, or have someone else read, and listen only ]
“Speech, / Words, letters, sounds, / heard by both the inner ear and the outer.
Letters, sounds, words, / linked invisibly to ideas and thoughts.
Ideas, thoughts, letters, sounds, words, / a woven tapestry of meaning,
carried by Speech, / sometimes with grace, / but most often just carelessly.
Meaning, / a weaving of thoughts, sounds, words, letters and ideas,
spoken into the air and left there, / abandoned.
Words, spoken and heard. / Meaning intended. / But what is heard?
That which is heard is also intended. / Two intentions, two purposes, two meanings.
How difficult then communication, / suffering as it does the contrary pulls of multiple intentions, purposes and meanings.
I speak, you listen. / I mean, you grasp. / Somewhere in this delicate dance of words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas and purposes; / understanding is sought after.
Perhaps. / Sometimes.
Voice. / Speech reveals the unspoken. / Anger, fear, pride, arrogance, true humility.
The ear of the heart hears what is hidden in voice.
Posture, gesture. / Speech is more than sound. / The eye hears things the ear cannot, just as the ear sees things the eye cannot.
One mind. / Two minds. / Speech a bridge of woven light between two minds, and sometimes, although rarely, / between two hearts.
Speech, rich and full of flavor, / a light bridge, / joining two separate beings.
Speech denatured, / No sound, no gesture, no posture, no voice.
Speech reduced to lines of dark on light. / Written. / A treasure map in code spilled across a page
Words, letters, ideas, thoughts, sounds, / reduced to marks upon a parchment. / Speech dying.
Yet, / even in death, murdered by pen or pencil mark, / some essence of Speech still.
Meaning embalmed. Understanding buried. / Until read.
Reading. / Words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas, meaning, purposes, intentions,
Speech resurrected in the silence of another mind.
Speech. / Light bridge dying into print, / reborn when read in the inner quiet of another soul.
Speech, / The Spoken Word. / Writing, / The Word entombed. / Writing read, / The Word resurrected.
That this is so, / that human beings live in such an exalted state having Speech, this is Grace.
The spoken word, the written word. / Things so ordinary, so taken for granted, so pregnant with possibility.
The emptiness between two souls is always / chaste, virgin, pure, / waiting for Grace, for the bridge of light, / for Speech.”
The Gift of the Word, originally called Speech, was written on Epiphany, Jan. 6, 1997, in the evening, in about a third of an hour. I had been re-reading Tomberg’s “Meditations on the Tarot – a journey into Christian Hermeticism”, doing a “letter” each night, starting on Christmas Eve.
I have little expectation that the Society will react favorably to this article. As a social institution it has a lot of inertia and momentum. Perhaps individuals will find this article useful, especially given that – to borrow a wonderful cliché: the fat lady has yet to sing. Nonetheless, on a fundamental level, I serve the Way, the Truth, and the Life, not Steiner, or the Anthroposophical Society.
Joel A. Wendt, April 30th, 2023.
My first zoom Branch meeting (of the Boston area Anthroposophical Society) since rejoining the Society, suggested that some additional material was in order. As is not unusual, it was sparsely attended, myself and five other gray heads (membership in the Society has very few young people), and this has inspired me to add some thoughts to the original work. Nonetheless, on a fundamental level, I serve the Way, the Truth, and the Life, not Steiner, or the Anthroposophical Society.
First a tale of no little import …
An anthroposophist of long standing had gone to a park, to enjoy the fair Spring weather, and have a biodynamic sandwich. She brought with her a copy of one of Steiner’s basic books: “Theosophy”, and had it on the park bench laying next to her.
After a while, there was a rustle in the bushes behind her, and a homeless man emerged, and asked if she would share the bench with him. He was not particularly disheveled, his clothes were worn, but his eyes were clear. She offered to share her sandwich, but he politely declined, saying providence kept him well fed.
He went on to remark that he was familiar with that book, which immediately drew her interest. A small breeze passed by, and the sun was warm. After a moment he wondered if he could ask her some questions. She consented.
“Do you believe in God” he asked. She of course nodded yes. “Do you believe Steiner was a messenger of God?”, and she agreed that was the case.
“Do you think Steiner knew everything”?
She paused, she had never really thought about that, but after a moment’s reflection she consented that this was not the case.
“Still a very brilliant man, extraordinary even.”
She nodded her head again.
“Is it possible God has sent other messengers?”
She could not disagree.
“Do you think the world is in a horrible mess, such as Steiner might have been inclined to suggest?”
“Is God Love?”
“Of course” she said.
“Do you know this verse from the Gospels? “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
He went on, saying: “Years ago I decided to take literally the 23rd Psalm, and while I have not become rich, I have never lacked for my basic needs. Is it possible dear lady, that there is actually nothing wrong with the world at all? That it is simply a magical mystical School, of hard knocks and shared pain, such that if we really studied each individual’s biography, in detail, we would see that all are deeply loved. It is only us who see this world as a dark and foreboding place. Which seeing is also a kind of care, for we are then challenged to examine our own souls, to wonder why we view a Mystery, yet only see enormous sea of troubles.”
He paused, she was thoughtful.
“Its in that book” he said, pointing to Theosophy. Again quoting:
“By causing the self-existent true and good to come to life in his inner being, the human being raises himself above the mere sentient-soul. A light is kindled in her which is imperishable. In so far as the soul lives in this light, she is a participant in the eternal. With the eternal she unites her own existence. What the soul carries within herself of the true and the good is immortal in her. Let us call that which shines forth in the soul as eternal, the consciousness-soul.“
There was silence between them for a while.
He spoke one final time: “Our biographies are designed to give us opportunities to unfold this aspect of our own hidden potential. These lessons are challenging, and difficult. When one looks at the world’s surfaces, its seems to be a horrible place, but that is not true. The biography is holy, and beautifully individualized. Years ago I learned to have Faith in the arts which rule the world, … to trust the Mystery, and on occasion to surrender to that Wisdom, rather than fight it.”
He stood up. Turned toward her, and bowed, his hands in the symbol of prayer, saying: “Namaste”, before turning and walking away.
In the section above, where I considered Rock, and music in general, I now feel more detail is necessary. Jean W. Yeager has actually listed several bits of Rap music as important, and I agree.
As background … in my original “Listening to the World Song”, as published in Carl’s “America and the Threefold World”, I pointed to my observations of the 1950’s, in the sense that certain remarkable American personalities had laid the ground work from much that was to come: Hugh Hefner, Elvis Presley, and Dr. Martin Luther King.
Hefner was a forerunner of the coming sexual revolution. Presley an artist who united Black music, with the White love tales carried in what was then called “tin pan alley”, leading to the more public emergence of Rock music. King was an igniter of the soon to dominate protest marches.
In each case the lower limbs of the human organism were involved. In a threefold sense Hefner was the lower level of will transformation, Presley was the middle, or heart level of the will, and King the higher principle of the will.
My younger brother, Doug, kept me up to date in what was going on with music, being a DJ and a VJ (records and videos) in both radio and dance venues.
He taught me that Rock generated what was called World Beat. The planet was rich with musical genius, which took Rock and reformatted it in accord with their particular culture. As this poured back into America, the inner cities generated “Hip Hop”, that eventually decayed a bit into Gangsta Rap. In the Caribbean, the Rock beat was inverted, and Reggae was born.
Another picture to go with this is to note that Europe had evolved high art in the sense of symphonies and operas. The spirit of the Americas were darker, and richer in a way.
Those arts need a lot of money to create and express. Hip Hop, on the other hand, was extraordinarily simple … just rhythm and rhyme. One could go to a street corner, plunk down an inverted five gallon plastic container, and using a couple of sticks, off you went. Throw down some cardboard, and break-dancing appears.
This style of music has become world-wide, such that rap groups are everywhere. In Germany, for example, there is a group who look like motorcycle bikers, and are covered in tattoos. Their songs, however, while maybe angry, are also full of love and wisdom. In the middle East, there is a group made up on Israelies and Palestinians.
A similar worldwide conversation is going on in the visual arts, such as film and television. In a very real sense, the arts convey the yearnings of the heart, and all human beings everywhere feel this.
However cruel and cynical are governments and international corporations, music triumphs in-spite of their folly.
“The Rising of the Dead”
Yeager’s last period: “Crisis 2005 to 2026 is called: “The Great Unraveling”. On a larger scale, I describe our time as “the dying and becoming of “Western” civilization. As I write, the world is on the brink of economic chaos, so this next bit is about “economics” and “social threefolding”.
Dear Friends of Rudolf Steiner,
I had a “sending” last night. A dream, which was very intense. In it I was loading a broken down station-wagon with personal stuff. One of the items was a large gym-like bag full of my urine. I tried to get a mechanic to take a look, but there was no help. Next I sought my mother, who was also unavailable.
I woke very stressed. As I lay in bed I tried to work out the symbolism. The broken down vehicle was the Anthroposophical Society. The mechanic were Society members, and the Mother, was Divine Providence, who can’t help until we make choices.
During recent inner and outer work, I had been thinking about my relationship to the Society, wondering if those folks understand that it would be better to have me inside pissing out, instead of outside pissing in.
I had just rejoined the Society, after a seven year vacation. During that vacation I had been active on Facebook, and was rather critical of the constant quoting of Steiner. Tomorrow (May 2nd) I’ll be on my first zoom meeting with the Boston MA area group.
I wondered what I would have to say, if asked. What came to mind was our current world-wide economic crisis. This then led to associating a number of personal experiences I have had in working with other Steiner students, on economic questions, and of course: the Threefold Social Organism.
I recalled – about the turn of the century – being in an internet discussion group studying Steiner’s economic ideas. I was interested in discussing monetary policy, but they only want to talk about “just price”.
Around the same time, I attended a lecture by Christopher Budd, on economics and the threefold social ideas. He drew a vertical lemniscate on a white board, with the upper gesture being the cultural life, and lower gesture the economic life, and the crossing point the political-legal life.
He described how the cultural life created spiritual capital, which then moved through the crossing point where it is given equitable order, and then this spiritual capital (skills and capacities) enters the economic life, which then creates excess monetary capital, that again flows through the rights life to become distributed in support of the cultural life (education and the arts).
As Steiner had explained: capital needs flow – be in movement, and when, for example, if becomes attached to land in any fashion, the flow of values is frozen, or dies.
Budd went on to criticize how most anthroposophical institutions are over dependent on “gift” money. Most of us are well aware of how often we receive requests for gift money. He pointed out, as an example, that Waldorf Schools should by monetized out of the economic sphere, the same way the original school was supported by the Waldorf Cigarette company.
Waldorf needed to not get money from the State, or what is essentially a tax on the parents.
When 2008 happened, the geniuses at the Goetheanum were caught with their pants down, so to speak. Trillions of dollars disappeared almost over night, and members and friends could no longer support – with gift money – our enterprises at the previous levels. Dornach had to let people go, and many other belt-tightening measures occurred world wide.
In my view too much time was being spent on abstract ideas, rooted in how to read and understand Steiner’s “World Economy”, and not enough thinking was applied on getting to know current economic realities.
The fashion of “just price” was ignorant of real world facts, such as the significance of the monetary policies the various Nations practiced, which are not ideally correct, by quite real.
We should be attending to what is actually being done, and less on idealism. Few people today, in general, understand how money comes into existence today. Does the reader of this know what “debt money” is?
Some near in time history …
Around 1917, there was a meeting on an island off the coast of southeastern America. Seven men met, and created the Federal Banking system. Six were New York bankers and lawyers, and the seventh a representative of the Rothschild banking combine. An early leader of this family said in the 1800’s, “Give me control of the currency, and I care not what governments want to do”. By this means the Federal Reserve was created, with the use of the term “Federal” to mask the fact that these banks were all private.
The U. S. Constitution grants power to the Legislative Branch to “To coin money and regulate the Value thereof … “. When Congress was enacting the legislation creating the Federal Reserve system, it was essentially giving away this power to private organizations of unelected individuals.
Charles Lindbergh’s father was in Congress this time, and he understood what was happening. He wrote, and had printed and distributed, a paper explaining the folly. He was arrested, and the plates used to print this pamphlet were destroyed.
The history, of the founding of America, was not just about no taxation without representation. Prior to the Colonies uniting, they each had independent economies, and printed and coined their own money. The English aristocracy was forcing the Colonies to use Bank of England currencies, which had the effect of bankrupting local business. So, when the Constitution was created, its rules regarding money were meant to make such a practice impossible, thus the importance of the banking and taxing powers in the Constitution.
Politicians, easily corrupted, eventually allowed banks to go their own way. This led to Lincoln being forced to borrow money at usurious rates, and he replied to this by having “Lincoln Greenbacks” created, to finance the North’s side of the Civil War. There are those who believe this was the real reason he was assassinated.
Recall the question above: Does the reader know what “debt money” is?
When we use our credit cards, or borrow money to buy goods and services, or homes and such, this money is not in the bank, but is created at the moment of the loan. This is why the Fed is always fooling around with “interest rates”. This constant money creation expands the so-called “money supply”, and is always inflationary …. that is, increasing the money supply devalues what is already in circulation.
A sometimes friend of mine, Stuart Weeks, was holding seminars on money truths in the ‘90’s. He was able to get someone from the Boston Federal Reserve bank to come and give some “straight talk” about money matters. He is reported as saying the following: There are over 40,000 men running banks. and maybe 40 of them know how finance actually works. And, it would be possible to make a 90 minute television show explaining it all, and the next day all the banks would be burned to the ground.
People being “wage slaves” is not a euphemism. “I owe my soul to the company store”, is line from the song: “Sixteen Tons” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Tons
There was a time when a town might have an industry, employing local workers, where the only place to spend your earnings was at a store, also owned by the same company, This remains true, although the scale of the “enterprise” is much larger today.
Corporations have a large influence on legislative branches. Their “needs” get more attention than the needs of ordinary people. Various nation States have different versions of the same folly. In Russia, there came to be the Normankaltura (of which Sergei O. Prokofeiff was a member), a privileged class that even had their own stores. These folks never had to wait in long lines to get ten pounds of rotting potatoes.
In Japan, there are intricate relationships between government and business, especially banking. Committees exist to coordinate uniform decision making. This is seen as having a positive relationship to the wealth generated by their economy. Many of us may be aware of how companies get involved in requiring workers to dress the same, sing company songs together, and even exercise in groups.
In China, membership in the Communist Party grants special privileges, and the military has similar rights and powers. The personal lives of ordinary workers is very orderly, such that large complexes of State owned apartments house these workers. Even more ominous is the current degree of technology used to watch every activity of their citizen-workers.
In both China and Japan, the criminal underworld, such as the Triads and the Yakuza, are to a degree also integrated into economic decision making.
Steiner has urged the importance of the ideal of people not working for money (i.e. ending their wage slavery).
On the edges of anthroposophical literature about economics are two important personalities: Richard Kotlarz (money) and Barbara Gardiner (aka: Liz Mackenzie) who writes of Economia with great spiritual insight. Richard, who I knew and who lived with us for about a half a year during a health crisis, is the leading thinker on “money”. I also knew Liz, and her works are in my web library.
Richard went to Vietnam, and came home, needing to try to work out how wealth functioned, and could then generate such madness. Most of the understanding I have of money has come from conversations with him.
Liz is a woman who lived in the world of spirit. The next is only a partial aspect of remarkable spiritual research. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/bgae1.html
“Economics and The Scottish Masonic Tradition In the Light of The Folk Spirits … A Meditative Study.“
When 2008 was over, Congress refused to regulate and correct the ability of lending institutions to lend more money than on hand (after all it only comes into existence at the time of the loan). Nor was the ability of financial institutions to create derivative types of stocks and bonds curtailed. None of what led to 2008 has been corrected.
From a certain point of view, all banks are insolvent, because they are allowed to have less capital on hand, than what they need to cover their own debt obligations – the rule is called fractional reserve. A great deal of this system depends upon trust in institutions. Loss of trust is why a run on the bank happens.
In California, banks have been allowed to create a great deal of loan-debt money to finance new businesses in the huge tech industries. There is a term called “vapor-ware”. This is a proposal to create something new, based just on the idea – nothing has yet been done. Venture capitalists fund these kinds of businesses all the time, and are called Venture capitalists because of the enormous risks involved.
These California banks have loaned/created a lot of money for this chance taking, and the number of failures has increased to the level of these bank’s “portfolios” no longer having the value they once had.
Our bank accounts have support against bank failures, where the government provides insurance up to $250,000, mostly to protect us ordinary folk whose bank has failed. Right now the Fed and its cronies in our government, are covering all the outstanding loans, because – as was discovered in 2008, these institutions have become to big to be allowed to fail.
It is kind of an economic house of cards, and one failure spreads to the next bank, and so on.
After the Depression laws were passed that sought to prevent ordinary banks from being able to speculate. The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 separated commercial banking from investment banking, and created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It was repealed in 1999, allegedly amid long-standing concerns that the limitations it imposed on the banking sector were unhealthy and that allowing banks to diversify would reduce risk.
That turns out to have been a very stupid idea. Except for the capitalists who sought thereby to become able to control more and more wealth. Keep in mind that Congress, and both political parties, are “owned” by the wealthy. Even your local personal bank is a member of a larger corporate banking institution.
There was a tale, that went around, that actually makes some sense. The practice of loaning debt money to students was encouraged as a means to increase the money supply
Prudence suggests we be prepared for the markets to crash, and that a new world-wide depression is just around the corner. Falling dominoes in action.
Then there is the Covid Mystery ….
Dornach, even though Steiner had warned of a coming medical tyranny, when it came, not even the anthroposophical doctors could agree. When the world needed Michaelic Courage, like the 2008 banking crisis, many anthroposophists were ignorant, and confused.
We still live in that aspect noted in Yeager’s book: the 2006-2026 Crisis of the Great Unraveling. Were the Society willing to unite with other spiritual streams, represented by individuals, who also are initiates (Steiner), magicians (Bardon), mystics (Tomberg), shamans (Clarke), wizards (Wendt), and alchemists (MacCoun), a remarkable spiritual community could greatly help the world deal with this over-reaching of rogue governments, and soulless multinational corporations.
When I was studying Bardon, he wrote of the highest Power was Knowledge itself. We don’t have to gain political power, when we can just advance scientific spiritual knowledge of reality as a fundamental aspect of the world. Human beings will then be enabled to see themselves as actual participants in events – not just wage slaves.
For those who want the needed medical knowledge, we have the
Einstein of medicine, Tom Cowan, as a major source.
In my work, we bring in the Idea of the Mother – the planet as a conscious Being, from which we can learn of Her influence as Divine Providence. All over the world, there exists the memories of the Goddess Natura. Those, who remember this aspect of their own cultural memory, will be enlivened with hope, by the very idea that scientific materialism (all is matter, there is no spirit) is a false religion.
To give an example from my spiritual research, directly related to this Unraveling, … it is She who gave us the Grace of what happened at the beginning of the Covid Mystery … a world-wide “time out” for reflection.
Another bit of spiritual research is that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, are one Religion, not three. https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2019/11/08/tiger-saucy-tells-of-some-overlooked-features-of-the-true-story-of-religions/
And, that Electricity is the Father at Rest (after the six days), https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2021/07/15/the-father-at-rest/
Gravity, Rogue Weather, the Four Horseman, and the Gate of Death is an effect of the Mother,
Levity – “In It (the Word) was Life, and the Life was the Light of the World” – is the effect of the Son. https://thecollectiveimagination.com/2022/01/20/the-meditating-scholar-and-the-second-becoming-of-christ-in-the-realm-of-living-thought/