Thursday, August 19, 2010

Schuon and Anthroposophy

Schuon's father was an Anthroposophist, that is a follower of the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner, and as a young man Schuon participated in spritist séances.

Interesting background, told by Schuon to Hugo Bergmann (who was himself interested in Steiner) in 1957, according to a letter of Bergman's reprinted in an article by Paul Fenton.


Sanchez said...

There is an interesting interview with an anthroposophist who is also a Catholic priest to be found at Worth checking out

Anonymous said...

It is most interesting to read that Fridjof Steiners father was interested in Anthroposoply.

One would do well to study the various volkische revival movements taking place in both Germany and Switzerland in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries.

For those interested in material about Anthroposophy as a belief system, here are some resources to start with:

James Webb The Occult Establishment, The Occult Establishment (LaSalle, IL: Open Court Pub. 1976) pp. 62-79; 164-167; 284-299; 307-317; 404-405.

Geoffrey Ahern The Sun at Midnight: The Rudolf Steiner Movement and Gnosis in the West
2nd Edition, © 2009

a collection of material can be found here.,61129,page%3D1+steinerian+doublespeak&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Many persons who have contributed information cited in these links are parents who entrusted their children to Steinerian pedagogy via Waldorf schools and were angered when they discovered that the schooling is based on Steiners highly idiosyncratic belief system, a religion in fact, and that this is not fully disclosed to parents beforehand. Insult is added to injury as one pays to enroll ones children in these schools and is expected to donate volunteer time.

What many find objectionable about Anthroposophy is that secretiveness appears to be part of its emotional texture and organizational praxis, a process that went all the way back to Herr Steiner himself.

It would be an interesting question for psychohistory to ask whether Schuons father's attraction to Anthroposophy had something to do with its secretiveness and whether this emotional legacy of secretiveness for secretiveness's sake carried over to Schuon's own style --plus the sense of mission and elitist belief that insiders are entitled to hide information from outsiders and that dissembling and disinformation can be rationalized as spiritual practice if part of A Mission.

Anonymous said...

An additional book for researchers interested in examining the social context for both Schuon's father and perhaps his son Fridjof Schuon:

Mountain of Truth: The Counterculture Begins: Ascona. 1900-1920 by Martin Green (Hanover, NH, and London. 1986)

Anonymous said...

This is very intresting. Perhaps Schuons racial theories where influenced by Steiner?


Anonymous said...

There is a fairly organised backlash against the Waldorf schools and anthroposophy on the internet, though it seems to have floundered somewhat. The main repeated criticism is the heirarchical races teaching, but one detects under this ostensible objection that there is a deeper antipathy to the very tenet of it's claims to the 'supersensible', and we're left with the impression of rather amateur 'sceptic'-campaigners. As for Anthroposophy's secretiveness, I can't say that there is much evidence of it - pretty much everything appears to have been published and is freely available. Do individual Waldorf schools or the movement as a whole play St. Peter in denying a connection with the larger body of Steiner's claims, or with the racial material specifically ? I don't know; but they have said that the Waldorf schooling is primarily a method, and should not be used to teach the contents of Steiner's claims/discoveries (as you prefer). There is certainly much that I would not subscribe to in the racial material, but it is certainly at it's core benign in it's approach to all varieties of humanity, whereas I have come across a fair amount of unofficial, or rather unadmitted, racial-hierarchical thinking in political life and theory that pretends otherwise that is undoubtedly malignant and hostile. With Steiner, what you see is what you get.

Anonymous said...

Another point of overlap between Steiner and Schuon:

Both men were sensitive to ritual, and to aesthetics and interior design.

Steiner went so far as to design type fonts on principle that the proper shape of letters would draw good astral influences down into what was written. Steiner also created a quite detailed system of architecture and interior design and and was deeply interested in liturgics.

It would be interesting to see whether Schuon, father and son, took this in new directions.

Schuon was noted for his interest in aesthetics and ritual.

As for backlash against Anthro --

All that is desired is accountability.

Especially since Anthroposophy has its own bank - Triodos, formerly Mercury Provident