The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner

#1
"The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner" - a recent documentary on Steiner's legacy and what import - if any - his work bears for us today. The documentary consists of interviews with various different people who carry on the work begun by Steiner or whos spiritual path in one way or another is informed by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner.

Part 1
Part 2

Several of the interviews done for the documentary have been put online in their entirety as well, and are very interesting in their own right. Here is a small sample:

Robert McDermott
John Thomson
Christopher Bamford
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Thank you very much, this is most fortunate as I just became aware of Steiner through the work of Pinchbeck.

;;/?
 
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chuck.drake

#4
Fascinating stuff. I've only watched about half of the first segment, but seeing Steiner's ideas implemented on farms and in schools deeply effects me on an emotional level. Decades ago I experimented for a couple of seasons with growing cut flowers to sell at a market and I followed biodynamic practices to the best of my ability at that time, preparing the extracts and spraying the fields. My heart positively aches when I see the children in the Waldorf school. I can't say clearly where that reaction comes from--only that there is some component of great longing involved. I feel for some reason a great sense of regret that I was never able to send my own two children to a Waldorf school. I will likely hold that as one of my greatest failures in life, not affording them that opportunity. I had forgotten these emotional ties with Steiner until I started watching the video again. Thanks for posting.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
I feel for some reason a great sense of regret that I was never able to send my own two children to a Waldorf school. I will likely hold that as one of my greatest failures in life, not affording them that opportunity. I had forgotten these emotional ties with Steiner until I started watching the video again. Thanks for posting.
Your love for your children clearly comes through!

I actually felt a connection to the school as well, watching the idyllic environment those kids were in. I liked how it was perfectly okay for people at the farm community to call some of his ideas "loopy" or "nonsensical".

Far from being a cult, as some accuse, I think this holistic method that honors childhood and creativity would produce children better able to face the downward swirl of our society where environmental degradation and corporate servitude are concerned.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
Thinking with Steiner Beyond the Brain: Reflections on My Bildung and the Philosophy of Freedom

...after the completion of his doctoral dissertation in philosophy, Steiner published The Philosophy of Freedom (1894) in an attempt to prove, using spiritual scientific methods (i.e., something like a phenomenology of thinking in every day life3), that the human being is a free spirit capable of true knowledge of the world and real love of others. Hartmann seems to have provided Steiner with precisely the adversarial resistance he needed in order to strengthen his own grasp of the issues at stake. He came to feel the desperate need for human beings to understand their own consciousness in a scientific way, for otherwise, science lacks a solid epistemological and ontological foundation. Science without such a foundation in genuine philosophy (i.e., the love of wisdom and the search for self-knowledge) is reduced to what Owen Barfield later called “dashboard knowledge,”4 a sort of technological means of manipulating physical phenomena without understanding their underlying spiritual causes. Ignorance of the work of spirit in ourselves and in nature has ethical implications, as well: global consumer capitalism and ecosystem collapse are the chief results of several centuries of ever advancing socio-techno-scientific5 power in the absence of spiritual wisdom...
Wonder, and the learned ignorance it engenders, can be further cultivated in order to produce what Steiner called “spiritual science.” Spiritual science, unlike natural science, is not undertaken in abstraction from ethical concerns, since, as a way of knowing, it is “the power of love in spiritual form.”12 Spiritual science is a kind of active thinking that is also a loving.

Those trapped in the benumbed world of abstract concepts cannot grasp the meaning of the teachings of a Socrates or a Jesus. They lose all moral imagination and become utilitarian nominalists who drink only from the well of the senses. But as Steiner makes clear, it is only after we’ve become self-conscious by divorcing ourselves from the chaotic womb of cosmogenesis that we can hope to re-marry the life of the whole willingly. Without first securing an ego by confronting death, we cannot crucify it to be resurrected in Christ. The only way to God is through me and out the other side. Steiner teaches that the soul has another side, not opposite but dimensionally internal to the outward facing senses. To perceive the world of the spirit that lies hidden beneath the world of the senses, the soul must cultivate the proper organ. We are born with physical eyes, but must birth within ourselves the I of the spirit.

As a child, I was taught in school that the brain produces consciousness. Steiner offers another teaching, that behind or beneath neural tissue there is something to us not created in the cranium. As we have seen, this is the etheric body of formative forces, that which is not produced by the brain but in fact produces the brain. The brain’s mortal perception of external space and of the passage of clock-time are imaginations originating in the etheric body. If ordinary consciousness turns inward to contemplate its own limits, it finds there a passageway to the ethereal. This door is the Imagination, the first stage in the development of the organ of spirit. Imagination is akin to seeing the outside, the surface, of inner spiritual realities. Further development is needed to penetrate to the core. Seeing the reflected image in the still water at the base of the soul, one then hears the voice of what speaks from within it. This is the stage of Inspiration. We not only see the light of the Word, but hear it in our own heart. We are warmed by Its Love. Finally, in the stage of Intuition, the organ of spiritual perception/cognition is complete. We are born through the water of the soul into spirit. We become one with the Word.
 
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