Letters to the Editor
I was moved by this poem. I love how the two parts of the poem are almost identical. It made me go back and forth, comparing the two and contemplating the differences. The poem is evocative and I could live into and experience the mood. Thank you!
Eric G Muller
Either because of my own mood or because it is indeed so, this is your best. I found nothing that I might have felt should be modified. It flows from the first word down to the last smoothly in words, in construction, in sequence of images. I really like it and would not hesitate to compare it with a true professional poet's writing. It does require more than one reading, but rapidly grows on one's sensibility. Some people wold like it, some would not, depending upon personal taste, but independently of that I think it is objectively quite excellent. For this one, I envy you.
Name withheld by request
Excellent article, thank you.
First, an "FYI" - under "New Banks" you ask, "Where will the concessionaire get the money?" - but I don't find in the preceding, mention of a need for money. It's a "fussy" question, but I feel needed for the flow of the article. I assume you mean "start up" capital,
housing and equipment, seed?
Another thought. I learned of the actual disciplines and practices of non-violent direct action only last week (I'm pretty slow) in a book by Walter Wink, "Engaging the Powers" - do you know it? Really quite extraordinary and timely, though not the subject of this comment.
He makes quite a point of the number and successes of non-violent actions and revolutions in the latter part of the twentieth century, providing a long and detailed list.
He also points out (I imagine you are well aware of what I'm sharing here, I'm only pointing to what I feel is pertinent to the message of your article) that "non-violent direct action" is in fact very active and involves strategy, discipline and training. He recalls
Gandhi saying, (I'm paraphrasing) "If you aren't prepared to take up the sword; and then choose instead to use (NVDA), you have no business doing the latter." (Excuse my poor phrasing).
What's my point? Simply that you've provided a strong article, but it dribbles at the end. Adding "civil disobedience" to "non-violence" is certainly a step in the right direction. Most of us, I warrant, imagine as I did that "non-violence" means passivity. Yes, I know that means we are dumb as rocks, so to speak (and not intending disservice to rocks).
One other vital point in terms of the financial infrastructure must be the matter of money creation. At present through most if not all the world that is in fact in private hands; is done by creating debt for others; and is the chief means of control of governments, businesses and societies.
There is a group in the States that has done exceptional work in grounding the concept of money creation - AMI, the American Monetary Institute. What they've done one might call "Goethean economics." One of the founders, Stephen Zarlenga, spent twelve years studying actual events throughout history; ideas, processes, events, results, to uncover
both the real nature of money, and instances of its proper creation that have been denigrated by conventional economists but on scrutiny were in fact successful. He collected this into a massive scholarly tome, fully referenced - "The Secret History of Money." I first learned of this work in David Korten's writings.
Their work has resulted in an act brought by Dennis Kucinich to the US Congress, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act. This brings the Federal Reserve into the Government, eliminating the now-private incarnation of the Fed. It allows for money to be created by the government spending it into existence on infrastructure, education,
health care, etc. - without creating debt. It eliminates fractional reserve banking. Provisions are made for retiring existing government debt as it comes due. There is much more to it all; their web site is "monetary.org."
I've written Gary Lamb to ask his take on this; haven't heard back yet. It may be that, as this is "main stream" he wasn't fully acquainted with it, and is informing himself. Should be very interesting to get his take on it.
Thanks again for the continued good works!
Right on Frank. Have you posted it on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube? You should print it out so that one can read it without going to your website.
As a class holder of the First Class, I am curious to know why you decided to publish the text of the lessons. I am fully aware that they are now in the public domain, that they are available on-line in German, and that someone who really wants to get them can do so. I am also aware that opinions differ on whether Dr. Steiner’s warning regarding the consequences of making the mantras public is still relevant.
These lessons constitute the core of an esoteric school. I would not be a class holder if I were not convinced that they still retained a significant degree of the spiritual power with which they originated. So, naturally, I am sorry to see them made yet more easily accessible to anyone with a smidgen of (perhaps hostile) curiosity.
I am interested to know how you regard these lessons and mantras. It would seem that:
1) you are unaware of Steiner’s warning about them losing their potency
2) have concluded that they already have, and that no further harm can come from publishing them
3) are not convinced their spiritual potency can be affected, or don’t care if it is, or
4) have a different rationale that justifies their publication at this time
In any case, I would like to hear your perspective. It may be of help in my continuing work with the lessons.
-- John Fuller
Dear Frank Smith,
In the correspondence about your decision to publish the Class Lessons on the internet, Jeremy Smith says, 'Is it also possible that giving people these texts before they are ready to receive them is to invite from them a response of contempt or dismissal?'
On 'The Ethereal Kiosk', a blog by a very intelligent young Swedish woman, you can already find humorous remarks occasioned by her reading of your published translations. This young woman is a Steiner critic whom I have a great deal of respect for. She can be intellectually rigorous and is quite passionate in her exposing of what she sees as the weaknesses and fallacies in anthroposophy and its institutions. She purports to be a complete skeptic about spiritual matters but nevertheless has read Steiner widely and deeply in the original German. She is painfully truthful about herself and how she sees the world. These are qualities which are rare nowadays.
I do not like to see anyone damaged in any way and I feel that your giving out this material to people who have not undergone an appropriate spiritual preparation IS potentially damaging.
In the bible we find this phrase, 'Casting pearls before swine.' What I understand this to mean is that giving spiritual treasures to those who cannot appreciate what they are, potentially evokes a response of the lower self - ridicule. Whereas the truly human response is a reverential one. If one gives spiritual treasure to someone who is not ready then one risks diminishing that person rather than the opposite happening, that the spiritual treasure should lift them up; the spiritual treasure should be what Simone Weil calls a 'metaxu'.
If you read 'The Ethereal Kiosk' on Class Lessons, it is not reverential. it is humorous without resorting to ridicule, but through the blog it is now available to people who will and do ridicule Steiner. You have put this temptation in their way.
Like Jeremy, I find your translation useful, but I find your publication of it on the internet to be wrong. Could it not be advertised as available to Class-members for those who wish to buy it, people who identified themselves to you as Class members? (One can already buy the lessons in German and Dutch and probably in English)
I also feel that using the images of the paintings by Zorn and Scheile (in your posting which included the First Lesson) simply contributes to the prevailing sexualisation of our culture and the demeaning of women. There are lots of other beautiful pictures of women which are not so blatantly sexual - why not use some of those?
Tom H. Shea
St. Paul, Minnesota, US