Letters to the Editor
RE: Editor’s page
The first thing is that, though the Palestinians are not angels, they have
suffered an injustice. They were persuaded by Arab governments and Israel
to leave their homes or if they did not do this, they became a minority in
their own country. Jewish support for Zionism increased after the holocaust,
which helped in the foundation of Israel. A European problem was transferred
to the Middle East. Arab governments have not always supported Palestinian
leaders. From what I remember, Syria wanted Arafat out of the way in 1983.
Gadafy has expelled Palestinians from Libya. Egypt has not given so much support
to the Palestinians since the death of Nasser. Now the only solution is for
the Israelis and Palestinians to find a way of living next to each other.
The policy of constructing more and more settlements in Palestinian territory
has lead to increasing despair. Sharon and Nettianou sabotaged the Oslo agreement.
In addition religious extremists on both sides have been fanning extremism.
Fear, hate and doubt have been provoked in both peoples by terrorism, murders,
military occupation etc. I do not know moreover whether Arafat can really
control his supporters in this situation, irrespective of his real aims (peace
or war and the support of terrorism).
Ben Aharon, an Israeli anthroposophist, worker in civil society, active
in the threefolding network GN3, wrote: "..the inability of the Israelis
and Palestinians to solve their differences by themselves will ‘force’ the
US to send NATO or other forces to the occupied territories, as part of the
coming ‘solution’ to the conflict. So it happened in
Bosnia-Herzogovina, also in Kosovo etc. The Israelis and Palestinians have
only themselves to blame. The U.S has its clear agenda and it pursues it
relentlessly.. But it can only achieve its goals as long as Israelis and
Palestinians play into their hands"
Note also that Rudolf Steiner was against Zionism; in a reply to a question
after a lecture to workers, he supported assimilation of the Jews. During
a trip to Israel in 1982, I discussed this with my uncle, an Israeli living
in Haifa, who has since died. After the death of my mother I went to see
an old lady, Freda Muller, who had been a friend of the family (1985). Her
husband Ernst Muller had written a book on Jewish mysticism before dying in
the late fifties (or early sixties). I had with my parents met both in 1951,
52 or 53 in the English resort of Buxton. In 1985 Freda Muller told me that
her husband had met Rudolf Steiner around 1910 and their only disagreement
was about Zionism. You can use as much of this message as you judge suitable
for Southern Cross Review. Though my family is of Jewish origin, I was once
almost accused of anti-Semitism.
Thank you for sending me R. Steiner's *Spiritual Cosmology*. I have read
many of his books which were translated from German into Italian by Willy
Schwartz about 30 or 40 years ago.
I read the editorial on Israel-Palestine in the latest issue. I must say
that I found it inaccurate and disturbing.
Thank you again and may the festive season bring you joy and happiness.
Thank you for your kind letter. May we print it in the next issue
of SCR? If so, would you care to enlarge upon your statement that our editorial
was inaccurate and disturbing? That is, what inaccuracies did you find,
or what specifically did you find disturbing? We are always open to
dialog with our readers.
I hope you also find joy and happiness in this festive season. My
friends in Melbourne tell me Santa's sleigh is pulled by kangaroos down in
Thank you for replying to my letter about SRC's editorial. Yes, please publish
my comments if you so wish. Regarding the statements that I found inaccurate
and disturbing, I wish to point out that most of those "Arab oppressors" fear
a revolt within their countries but the sacrificial scapegoats are the Palestinians
not Israel. Israel, in fact, is becoming more and more powerful through such
terrible deeds. While American money and weapons are given to the Israelis,
the Arab despots appear to prefer playing a double role not to incur the
wrath of the American and Israel administrations. Some of them supply information
to the wrong side either for rewards or out of fear.
QUOTE from the editorial.
"I refer above to the Palestine cause as a false cause." And "The real villains
of the piece are, however, the despots governing Arab states (Syria, Iran,
Iraq, Saudi Arabia, et al) who finance, train and arm the Palestinian terror.
They need the Palestine-Israel conflict in order to retain power, divert their
people's attention from their corruption and oppression and supply a sacrificial
scapegoat - Israel. Peace in the region is not on their agenda"
RE: Rudolf Steiner’s Mexican Mysteries Revisited
Dear SCR Readers:
Regarding my Issue # 20 article: "Rudolf Steiner’s
Mexican Mysteries Revisited", some new research provoked by assistance
from helpful friends has resulted in the following:
1. Regarding the Aztec practice of ritual sacrifice and removal of the
stomach - as claimed by Steiner but unsupported by any corroborating
evidence - the following may be illuminating:
The footnote #58 in the German edition of the lecture cycle in which
Steiner's difficult statement takes place says, in part:
"Taotl: For external sources of information concerning the Aztecs and
their customs, as well as concerning the names of their Gods, Rudolf
Steiner used the book by Charles William Heckethorn, Geheime
Gesellschaften, Geheimbunde und Geheimlehren, Leipzig 1900 (The
Societies, Secret Brotherhoods and Secret Teachings of All Ages and
Countries). From here Rudolf Steiner obtained the detail that he
mentioned that the priests cut out the victim's stomach, an assertion that
is variously objected to as apparently not corresponding to the traditions
that have been passed down to our time." (as recently translated by James
The German original of the relevant sentence is:
"Von hier stammt auch das von Rudolf Steiner erwähnte Detail, dass
die Priester den Opfern den Magen ausschnitten, was verschiedentlich - als
angeblich nicht mit der Überlieferung übereinstimmend -
beanstandet worden ist."
An alternate translation of that sentence reads:
"This is the origin of the detail mentioned by Rudolf Steiner that the
priests cut open the victims' stomachs, which has been criticized on
various occasions as apparently not in accordance with recorded
tradition." (Trans.: Frank Thomas Smith)
You might easily imagine my amazement upon first reading this translation,
for no other commentator on the subject has taken notice of the German
original (the footnote does not exist in the English edition), nor
referred to it as a possible explanation for Steiner's remark. What is
most interesting about this citation is that it is misleading; Heckethorn
does not mean to imply that the stomach was excised. What he does say is:
"The high priest then opened his [the victim's] stomach with the knife,
and tearing out his heart, held it up to the sun, and then threw it before
the idol in one of the chapels on the top of the great pyramid where the
rite was performed."
While I do not have a copy of the German edition of Heckethorn's book to
refer to, it is quite possible that Steiner made the same mistake as did
his modern editors, especially if the translation into German was not
To belabor the obvious, what is clearly intended by Heckethorn is that the
victim's belly was cut open to allow access to the heart, not that the
organ of the stomach was removed. In this one instance, Heckethorn's
description, along with other details not quoted here, corresponds exactly
with all other reports. Here I believe we have a solution to "the question
of the stomach" in Steiner's "Mexican Mysteries" lectures.
2. As other discussions have dwelt upon the derivation of the name
"Vitzliputzli", it should be noted that the only other known instance of
an identical spelling occurs in Heckethorn - he uses it seven times - with
dissimilar variants used by other sources (Sahagun, Koslik), e.g.;
Uitzilopotchtli. Heckethorn chooses to use "Vitzliputzli" instead of the
other variant he mentions for Huitzilopochtli: "Heritzilopochtli."
As such, it is obvious that "Vitzliputzli" and "Huitzilopochtli" are meant
to refer to the same entity, at least by the 16th C. chroniclers - and by
those that rely upon them.
Unexamined in this regard are Eduard Seler's extensive German texts.
Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, in his Alti Publishing edition of "Treasures of
the Great Temple", cites Sahagun's Florentine Codex references to
As Heckethorn's use of "Vitzliputzli" predates Steiner's by some 16 years,
I believe it reasonable to deduce that Steiner borrowed the form of the
name from Heckethorn, with no obvious reservations about its associations
with the Aztec warrior and culture-hero. I say "reservations", because
"Vitzliputzli" was a at the beginning of High culture in
Mesoamerica and "Huitzilopochtli" is a at the tail end of it, so
some difficult work is entailed in tracing the devolution of one into the
other. Steiner does not address this at all, but uses the name of the 16th
C. villain for the name of the 1st C. initiate. This creates a conceptual
and imaginal knot that must be teased apart; a simple literalism simply
will not do.
Thus, evaluating both considerations, I consider that the case that
Steiner relied upon Heckethorn is strengthened, although the question of
why he would have done so is no closer to solution. As I have tried to
emphasize at all times, these details merely lend colour to the story of
how Steiner came to tell this tale. On the main points of his description
about Christ's activity in Mesoamerica, his seership was in full sail, and
entirely reliable, as I can attest from my own investigations. For those
who might entertain naïve notions that everything he said must have
invariably derived from infallible supersensible perception, that
conscientious testing of his reports is somehow tantamount to subversive
disloyalty, or that uninformed opinion masquerading as belief or Faith is
the same as knowledge, experience, or authority, I must confess a lack of
sympathy with such notions.
New Mexico, USA
Letters to the Editor are always welcome. Send to fts@SouthernCrossReview.org