Letters to the Editor

RE: Apologia

Thank you Frank. Perfectly said. And a heartfelt thank you for your labors.

Robert L. Johnston


Dear Frank Thomas Smith
I react to your Apologia about the publication of Rudolf Steiner's First Class Lessons. I agree with everything you wrote in this Apologia! Both on legal and moral grounds. Thank you for publishing your own translation. Thank you for your SouthernCrossReview!
I live in the South of France. I am bilingual. And I read (almost) every issue of SouthernCrossReview! Some of your articles have been precious to me: for example On Making the Genome Whole  I have used this article many times when I was one of the manager/trainer in the Waldorf teacher training Didascali near Avignon.
Thank you again!
Best regards,
Jean Brieussel (Mr)


RE: First Class Lessons (scroll down)

This is some powerful stuff. Thanks a lot for your work.

Best regards,
Ansu Aronsson


Querido Frank Thomas Smith,

Today I sent you an email requesting PDFs of volumes 1, 2, 3 or your translation of the Class Lessons. However, I am not sure if that email was correctly sent, which is why I am writing again.

In receiving the Southern Cross Review, which I greatly appreciate, I have read your translations of the Class Lessons and find them excellent. I am a member of the First Class and have the printed volumes in German, which I received from the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung in Dornach when I was studying eurythmy there.

Now that I am based back in the English-speaking world, it is wonderful to read and study the Class Lessons in English translation, and your translation is really excellent.

Muchas gracias,

Robert Powell


Dear Frank Thomas Smith,

My name is Norbert Hanny, I am 40 years old, I live in Budapest, Hungary. I have been studying Steiner's books for 24 years now (since 1992), and I am a member of the G.A.S. in Hungary for many years. I admire your work as the translator of Rudolf Steiner's First Class Lessons, and as somebody who made these translations available to the English-speaking world.

Warm regards,
Norbert Hanny


RE: Moral Socialism

Dear Frank,

Thank you for the article on The Threefold Society entitled “Moral Socialism”.   It was informative and highlights the concern of what Goethe termed the mixed metals collapsed in a heap when the three spheres:  the spiritual-cultural life, the legal-rights life and the economic life amalgamate into one conglomerate and thus not only treats people as cogs in a machine but also stifles the spirit of creativity.

 The choice of title “Moral Socialism” does however conflict with the clear separation of the three spheres.  Although in the article it is quoted that Alexander Solzhenitsyn said:

As long as socialism is not state socialism and reflects religious morality, he would accept it.” I believe it was he who originally coined the term “moral socialism”.”

The title nevertheless does suggest that the author is placing the article based on the Threefold Society in a socialist political and religious ideology and thus, in its essence, is an oxymoron in the Threefold Society as it is an amalgamation of the three separate spheres of life.

Socialism is a theory based solely on the economic life and therefore it is a mixture of the political sphere and the economic sphere.

Collins concise Dictionary-

Socialism:  1.  An economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state.  2.  Any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of socialist economic system.  3.  (in Marxist theory) a transitional stage in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need.

Morality belongs to the Legal-Rights sphere and not the religious sphere (the spiritual-cultural sphere life).  One man’s outlook on his religion may not necessarily be another man’s religious outlook and therefore how can one make a Moral decision based on religion?

Collins concise Dictionary-

Moral:  1.  Concerned with or relating to human behavior, especially the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behavior: moral sense.  2.  Adhering to conventionally accepted standards of conduct.  3.  Based on a sense of right and wrong according to conscience.

Due to the fact that the Legal-Rights sphere is concerned with Moral decision it is necessary that the Legal-Rights sphere is based on the Democratic principle:

Collins concise Dictionary-

Democracy:  1.  Government by the people or their elected representatives.  2.  A political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members.  3.  The practice or spirit of social equality.  4.  A social condition of classlessness and equality.

For law the essential characteristic is human equality. Law both guarantees and limits rights, and it does this equally for each person. It governs the democratic political process in which each person's vote carries equal weight. Inasmuch as rights must be protected and the law enforced, it encompasses both the police and the military. The state is its administrative body. The modern national state, however, oversteps its essential boundaries, creating a kind of social indigestion in its attempts to legislate both in the domains of economics and of culture. Economic interests, in turn, influence legal judgments, often making a sham of human equality.” (GA024) Renewal of the Social Organism: Foreword by Joseph Weizenbaum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1984

Therefore, one could say the legal-rights sphere of the Threefold Society is based on the ethics of democracy.

Thanks Frank, 

Caryn O’Reilly
Johannesburg, SA



Bad translation. "después de la lenta invernada".in the second paragraph does not mean after "after a wintry Lent" It means after a long winter. Lent in Spanish is la Cuaresma.  My  Spanish class agonized over lenta being translated as Lent. 

Tom Crown

You're right of course, Tom. The only excuse I have is that I didn't do the translation – although it looks like something I'd do ;-) I don't remember, but I assume I found it somewhere on the internet without translator attribution. Actually, it should be “slow” winter – or slow wintertime, which indicates long, but more poetically. This story appeared in 2010, but stays in the ether for search. It has 278,555 hits – mostly I guess by students of Spanish who search for Cortázar. Btw, this confusion of meanings in one language of words similar in another language is called “false cognate” ..or friend. They are especially prevelant in similar languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. Thank very much for bringing this false friend to my attention – now corrected. [Editor]


RE: Open Letter

Thank you for this letter!
From my reading of Judith von Halle, I find her writing lucid , intelligent, profound and accessible: so that I can build for myself from a step that is clear to me to heights beyond my experience, but which she seems to bring to life in a way which feels true. I find her work evocative, bringing Christianity alive in a way which is deeply moving. I can't say she is correct, though I can say that she seems to me to speak with such integrity that I have no reason to doubt her, other than the reason that one should keep an open mind on those things one cannot prove. But I am very grateful for all I've read and want to thank her.
The editor's last paragraph was delightfully amusing.
Again, I'm grateful for this letter.
Thank you,
Elsa Martin.


Thank you. I quite enjoy your website. It is one of my favorites for anthroposophy. Great contributions in that and other fields, as well. Very much appreciated.
Jason in Texas

Hi Frank,
How do I get to the past issues of your fine magazine?
Thanks in advance,
Noam Olam

For back issues, use the issue number. For example: http://southerncrossreview.org/105/index105.html will deliver SCR number 105. For authors or titles, enter names or keywords in the Google search box at the bottom of the cover page. [Editor]