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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Steiner Quotes - On Thinking and Education


Steiner on Thinking:

"[T]he brain and nerve system have nothing at all to do with actual
cognition...." [THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE, p. 60]

"From the stone there flows into the soul one kind of feeling, and from the
animal another ... Out of these feelings and the thoughts that are bound up with
them, the organs of clairvoyance are formed." [KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS
AND ITS ATTAINMENT, p. 29.] Note: We pass from feeling through thought to
something very different from thought: clairvoyance.

"[T]hinking is oriented to the physical plane. Feeling really has a connection
with all the spiritual beings who must be considered real ... In the sphere of
feelings, human beings cannot liberate [i.e., separate] themselves from the
spiritual world." [PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SPIRITUAL PSYCHOLOGY, p. 70.]

"The brain is an instrument for purely intellectual apprehension.
Intellectualism and materialistic thinking are one and the same ... [T]he
materialistic brain represents a process of decay: materialistic thinking
unfolds only through processes of destruction, death-processes, which are taking
place in the brain." [THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, pp. 147-148.]

"Human beings must embark upon the unpleasant task of abandoning the mode of
thinking [i.e., intellect] which the universities produce in the so-called
educated classes today...." [BEHIND THE SCENES OF EXTERNAL HAPPENINGS, Nov. 6,
1917.]

The brain "thinks" only in a very inferior manner. "When people are as blinded
by materialistic thoughts as they became during the nineteenth century and right
into the present ... it is not incorrect to say that the brain thinks. It is
then, in fact, correct. By being firmly enmeshed in materialism, we have people
who not only think poorly about the body, soul, and spirit, but people who think
materially and feel materially. What that means is that materialism causes the
human being to become a thinking automaton, that the human being then becomes
something that thinks, feels, and wills physically." [FACULTY MEETINGS WITH
RUDOLF STEINER, p. 115.]

Intellect or brain-based thinking is associated with Ahriman. "The danger of
succumbing to the realm of Ahriman was at its greatest around the year 333 BC.
This was the moment in time when humanity began to make use of mere intellect,
mere logic." [GUARDIAN ANGELS, pp. 96-97.] This is serious matter: "The human
being is thus in danger of drifting into the Ahrimanic world, in which case the
spirit-soul will evaporate into the cosmos." [FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF
STEINER, p. 115.]

Truth comes through imagination, clairvoyance, etc. "Essentially, people today
have no inkling of how people looked out into the universe in ancient times when
human beings still possessed an instinctive clairvoyance ... If we want to be
fully human, however, we must struggle to regain a view of the cosmos that moves
toward Imagination again...." [ART AS SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY, p. 256]

Critical thinking is especially hazardous. Good children "have a respect that
forbids them, even in the deepest recess of their heart, to harbour any thoughts
of criticism or opposition." [KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT,
p. 10.] Good adults should have a similar sense of veneration, at least for the
people they have selected to be their gurus. "Hence the need to find a Guru on
whom he [a seeker] can strictly rely." [ AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE,
"Occult Development".] Relying "strictly" on a guru is the abnegation of
critical intelligence.

"A man who would receive Anthroposophy with his intellect kills it in the very
act." [LIFE, NATURE, AND CULTIVATION OF ANTHROPOSOPHY, p. 15.]

Ahriman's cardinal evil attribute is that he is "the supreme intellectual
power." [NATURE SPIRITS, p. 167.]

Ahriman's fiendish plots include this: "One of the things Ahriman wants for us
is that we produce lots of libraries, storing lots of dead knowledge all around
us." [POLARITIES IN THE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND, p. 163.] Dead knowledge is,
obviously, the reverse of "living thoughts."

Steiner taught that intellectual thought did not begin until 600-800 BC. It is,
he said, a gift from Lucifer, an arch-demon. [THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
(Anthroposophic Press, 117.] Ahriman corrupted Lucifer's dangerous gift:
"Ahriman appropriated intellectuality ... Intellectuality flows forth from
Ahriman as a cold and frosty, soulless cosmic impulse." [ANTHROPOSOPHICAL
LEADING THOUGHTS, p. 98.]

We currently live in a materialistic age in which materialistic (intellectual)
thinking prevails. This is a "necessary phase in the evolution of humanity."
[WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY Vol. 1, p. 235.] Entering this phase, we
surrendered our old clairvoyant capacities, but we will attain greater
clairvoyance when we move forward in out evolution. This is well, since "The
intellect destroys or hinders." [Ibid., p. 233.]

Ultimately, intellect is anathema for Steiner and his followers -- critical
thinking must be suppressed. "By intellectualising he [the seeker] merely
diverts himself from the right path." [WIE ERLANGT MAN ERKENNINISSE DER HOHEREN
WELTEN?, p. 32.]

Steiner tells his followers, "You must not try to receive these insights in a
sober-minded and intellectual way." [STUFEN DER HOHEREN ERKENNISNIS, p. 66.]

The goal is to reach a stage at which "our thinking ceases." [Rudolf Steiner,
MEDITATION UND KONSENTRATION (Dornach, 1935), p. 33]

"Our fifth post-Atlantean subrace is developing a culture of reason, but at the
same time it is bringing egotism to an absolute extreme ... Our fifth root race
will be ruined by egotism intensified to the utmost." [Ibid., p. 179.]

As so often, Steiner associated evils and dangers will lowly races. Fortunately,
turning away from materialistic thinking will produce a superior race. "All
materialistically thinking souls work on the production of evil race-formations,
and what is done of a spiritual nature causes the bringing forth of a good
race." [ROSICRUCIAN WISDOM, p. 150.]

The "so-called educated people in universities" [SECRET BROTHERHOODS, p. 97]
mislead our precious youth. This is perhaps clearest in medical education.
(Brace yourself: This gets a little weird. Basically, evil thinking produces
evil spiritual beings, spiders as it were. Using the intellect leads toward
perdition. ) "Our young people are sent into the hospitals and scientific
faculties of the universities; there the human being is explained to them ...
[T]his is no way to comprehend the human being ... What we learn about the human
being through such a science is something that simply and solely has
significance from the moon's separation until its return, something that out of
the spider thoughts of today will then turn into spider beings ... [P]eople do
not have the remotest idea of the appalling earthly destiny they are approaching
by uniting with what an ancient spiritual knowledge called the sixteen paths of
human perdition ... [T]here are variations of the shadowy intellect itself,
various ways of uniting ourselves through this intellectual activity with the
elements of spidery incrustation that will be spun over the whole earth in the
future. In that time, the intellect will hold sway objectively in the manifold
limbs these spider creatures will possess." [MATERIALISM AND THE TASK OF
ANTHROPOSOPHY, pp. 266-269.]

Steiner Quotes - The Jews, Racial Progression, Blood and the Future


The Jews

"It certainly cannot be denied that Jewry today still behaves as a closed totality, and as such it has frequently intervened in the development of our current state of affairs in a way that is anything but favorable to European ideas of culture. But Jewry itself has long since outlived its time; it has no more justification within the modern life of peoples, and the fact that it continues to exist is a mistake of world history whose consequences are unavoidable. We do not mean the forms of the Jewish religion alone, but above all the spirit of Jewry, the Jewish way of thinking." (Steiner, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Literatur p. 152)

"Thus the greatest tragedy of this 20th century [World War I] has come from what the Jews are also striving for. And one can say that since everything the Jews have done can now be done consciously by all people, the best thing that the Jews could do would be to disappear into the rest of humankind, to blend in with the rest of humankind, so that Jewry as a people would simply cease to exist. That is what would be ideal. This ideal is still opposed, even today, by many Jewish habits - and above all by the hatred of other people. That is what must be overcome." (Steiner, Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker p. 189)

"Today all aspects of the Jews are dominated by racial qualities. Above all they marry among themselves. They see the racial qualities, not the spiritual. And this is what must be said in reply to the question: has the Jewish people fulfilled its mission within the evolution of human knowledge? It has fulfilled it; for in earlier times one single people was needed to bring about a certain monotheism. But today spiritual insight itself is necessary. Therefore this mission has been fulfilled. And therefore this Jewish mission as such, as a Jewish mission, is no longer necessary in evolution; instead the only proper thing would be for the Jews to blend in with the other peoples and disappear into the other peoples." (Steiner, Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker p. 190)

"Actual antisemitism is not the cause of this Jewish hypersensitivity, but rather the false image of the anti-Jewish movement invented by overwrought imaginations. Anyone who has dealt with Jews knows how deep runs the tendency to create such an image, even among the best members of their nation. Mistrust toward non-Jews has completely taken over their souls. [. . .] I consider the antisemites to be harmless people. The best of them are like children. They want something to blame for their woes. [. . .] Much worse than the antisemites are the heartless leaders of the Jews who are tired of Europe, Herzl and Nordau. They exaggerate an unpleasant childishness into a world-historical trend; they pretend that a harmless squabble is a terrible roar of cannons. They are seducers and tempters of their people." (Steiner, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kultur- und Zeitgeschichte pp. 198-200 [1897])

"...the Jahve forces from the moon sphere meet and cooperate with the Mars spirits and thus a special kind of modification arises, namely, the Semitic race. Here is the occult explanation for the origin of the Semites. The Semitic people are an example of a modification of collective humanity. Jahve or Jehovah shuts himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character by cooperating with the Mars spirits, in order to bring about a special modification of his people. You will now understand the peculiar character of the Semitic people and its mission."(Steiner, The Mission of Folk Souls p. 105)

"[Jesus felt]: All the forces of soul which I believed had been bestowed upon me lead only to the realisation that in the evolution of the Jewish people there is no longer the capacity to reach the heights of Divine revelations." (Steiner, 1913, The Fifth Gospel. (1913) Trans. C. Davy & D.S. Osmond. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1968. p. 67)

Progression through the Races

"The relation between soul-development and race-development is preserved to us in a wonderful myth. Let us imagine race following race, civilization following civilization. The soul going through its earth mission in the right way is incarnated in a certain race; it strives upward in this race, and acquires the capacities of this race in order next time to be incarnated in a higher one. Only the souls which sink in the race and do not work out of the physical materiality, are held back in the race by their own weight, as one might say. They appear a second time in the same race and eventually a third time in bodies in similarly formed races. Such souls hold back the bodies of the race. This has been wonderfully described in a legend. We know, indeed, that man progresses further in the fulfillment of the mission of the earth by following the great Leaders of humanity who point out the goals to be attained; if he rejects them, if he does not follow them, he must remain behind with his race, for he cannot then get beyond it. Let us think of a personality who has the good fortune to meet a great Leader of humanity, let us suppose such a personality confronting Christ Jesus himself, for example; he sees how all his deeds are evidence for leading humanity forward, but he will have nothing to do with this progress, he rejects the Leader of humanity. Such a personality, such a soul would be condemned to remain in the race. If we follow this thought to its conclusion such a soul would have to appear again and again in the same race, and we have the legend of Ahasuerus who had to appear in the same race again and again because he rejected Christ Jesus. Great truths concerning the evolution of humanity are placed before us in such a legend as this." (Rudolf Steiner, The Apocalypse of St. John, pp. 80-81)

"Each person proceeds through race after race. Those that are young souls incarnate in the races that have remained behind on earlier racial levels. In this way, the races and souls that live around us take on a physical and spiritual structure. Everything makes sense, everything becomes clear and explicable. We are moving closer and closer to the solution of this puzzle and we can realize that in the future we will have other epochs to go through, we will have other paths to follow than the ones made by race. We must be clear about the difference between soul development and racial development. Our own souls once lived within the Atlantean race, and they then developed themselves upward to a higher race. That gives us an image of the evolution of humankind up until our time. In this way we can comprehend how to justify the principle, the core principle of universal brotherhood without regard to race, color, status, and so forth. I will explain this thought in particular later. Today I simply wanted to show how the same essence appears in different forms, and in fact in a much more correct sense than natural science would have us believe. Our souls march from one level to the next, which is to say from one race to the next, and we come to know the meaning of humanity when we examine these races." (Steiner, Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie pp. 153-4)

"For peoples and races are but steps leading to pure humanity. A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation. Man must finally appear in harmonious perfection." (Steiner, Knowledge of Higher Worlds p. 207)

"You might now be inclined to say: Is it not an extremely bitter thought that whole bodies of peoples remain immature and do not develop their capacities; that only a small group becomes capable of providing the germ for the next civilization? This thought will no longer disquiet you if you distinguish between race-development and individual soul-development, for no soul is condemned to remain in one particular race. The race may fall behind; the community of people may remain backward, but the souls progress beyond the several races. If we wish to form a true conception of this we must say that all the souls now living in bodies in civilized countries were formerly incarnated in Atlantean bodies. A few developed there in the requisite manner, and did not remain in Atlantean bodies. As they had developed further they could become the souls of the bodies which had also progressed further. Only the souls which as souls had remained backward had to take bodies which as bodies had remained at a lower stage. If all the souls had progressed, the backward races would either have decreased very much in population, or the bodies would be occupied by newly incoming souls at a low stage of development. For there are always souls which can inhabit backward bodies. No soul is bound to a backward body if it does not bind itself to it." (Steiner, The Apocalypse of St. John p. 80)

"People who listen to the great leaders of humankind, and preserve their soul with its eternal essence, reincarnate in an advanced race; in the same way he who ignores the great teacher, who rejects the great leader of humankind, will always reincarnate in the same race, because he was only able to develop the one form. This is the deeper meaning of Ahasver, who must always reappear in the same form because he rejected the hand of the greatest leader, Christ. Thus each person has the opportunity to become caught up in the essence of one incarnation, to push away the leader of humankind, or instead to undergo the transformation into higher races, toward ever higher perfection. Races would never become decadent, never decline, if there weren't souls that are unable to move up and unwilling to move up to a higher racial form. Look at the races that have survived from earlier eras: they only exist because some souls could not climb higher." (Steiner, Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen p. 174)


The "Aryan" Race

"The ancestors of the Atlanteans lived in a region which has disappeared, the main part of which lay south of contemporary Asia. In theosophical writings they are called the Lemurians. After they had passed through various stages of development the greatest part of them declined. These became stunted men, whose descendants still inhabit certain parts of the earth today as so-called savage tribes. Only a small part of Lemurian humanity was capable of further development. From this part the Atlanteans were formed. Later, something similar again took place. The greatest part of the Atlantean population declined, and from a small portion are descended the so-called Aryans who comprise present-day civilized humanity. According to the nomenclature of the science of the spirit, the Lemurians, Atlanteans and Aryans are root races of mankind." (Steiner, Cosmic Memory pp. 45-46)


Colonization and the Degradation of the Blood

"But all such questions are illuminated as soon as we recognize the nature of the spiritual essence which lies at the back of our blood. Who can deny that this question is closely linked to that of race, which at the present time is once more coming markedly to the front? Yet this question of race is one that we can never understand until we understand the mysteries of the blood and of the results accruing from the mingling of the blood of different races. And finally, there is yet one other question, the importance of which is becoming more and more acute as we endeavor to extricate ourselves from the hitherto aimless methods of dealing with it, and seek to approach it in its more comprehensive bearings. This problem is that of colonisation, which crops up wherever civilised races come into contact with the uncivilised: namely - To what extent are uncivilised peoples capable of becoming civilised? How can a Negro or an utterly barbaric savage become civilised? And in what way ought we to deal with them? And here we have to consider not only the feelings due to a vague morality, but we are also confronted by great, serious, and vital problems of existence itself. Those who are not aware of the conditions governing a people - whether it be on the up- or down-grade of its evolution, and whether the one or the other is a matter conditioned by its blood - such people as these will, indeed, be unlikely to hit on the right mode of introducing civilisation to an alien race. These are all matters which arise as soon as the Blood Question is touched upon." (Steiner, The Occult Significance of Blood p. 13)


Spiritual Politics of the Blood

“The use of the French language quite certainly corrupts the soul. The soul acquires nothing more than the possibility of clichés. Those who enthusiastically speak French transfer that to other languages. The French are also ruining what maintains their dead language, namely, their blood. The French are committing the terrible brutality of moving black people to Europe, but it works, in an even worse way, back on France. It has an enormous effect on the blood and the race and contributes considerably toward French decadence. The French as a race are reverting.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, pp. 558-559.)


The War of the White Race Against Other Races

"White humankind is still on the path of absorbing the spirit deeper and deeper into its own essence. Yellow humankind is on the path of conserving the era when the spirit will be kept away from the body, when the spirit will only be sought outside of the human-physical organization. But the result will have to be that the transition from the fifth cultural epoch to the sixth cultural epoch cannot happen in any other way than as a violent battle of white humankind against colored humankind in myriad areas. And that which precedes these battles between white and colored humankind will occupy world history until the completion of the great battles between white and colored humankind. Future events are frequently reflected in prior events. You see, we stand before something colossal that - when we understand it through spiritual science - we will in the future be able to recognize as a necessary occurrence." (Rudolf Steiner, Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges. Dornach, 1974 (GA 174b) p. 3)

Steiner Quotes - Specifically Race Related


Anthroposophy and the Races

"Thus we see that through these abnormal Spirits of Form there are five potential centres of influence where these reflected planetary forces are concentrated and produce in reflect what we know as the five main races of the Earth. Let us now look more closely into the centre which, in Lecture Four, we situated in the interior of Africa. If we state that the Negro race was born of the cooperation between the normal Spirits of Form and the abnormal Spirits of Form centred in Mercury, then from an occult standpoint we are perfectly correct in describing the Negro race as the "Mercury race". Let us now continue along the line joining the centres or focal points from which the individual races spread outward. We then come to Asia which is the seat of the "Venus race" or the Malayan race. We then move northward across the wide expanse of Asia and we find the Mongolian race which is formed by the Mars forces. Then we cross over into Europe and find the Europeans who in their original racial character are "Jupiter men". If we cross the ocean to America which is the centre where civilizations or races die, we find there dark "Saturn's race", the original Red Indian race. The American Indian race is the "Saturn race". Thus if you look into the matter more closely from an occult standpoint you will become aware of the five centres where the planetary forces are concentrated and are manifested in the external world. With a progressively more definite and concrete conception of this racial distribution you will develop an inner understanding of the racial characteristics peculiar to the peoples spread over the Earth, an understanding of this unique cooperation of the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form.

"It is valid for the epoch when, at a definite moment of time in the old Atlantean evolution, the peoples began to migrate from a centre in Atlantis and sought the particular centre where they could receive the training appropriate to their race.

"Now how do we look upon a member of the Ethiopian race, of the Mercury race? We see him as one who was originally chosen, who was predestined by the Elohim to express the quintessence of the all-human. But from the Mercury Centre the potent influences of the abnormal Spirits of Form intervened and modified the form of man to such an extent that the Ethiopian race arose. And such was the case with each individual race.

"Now how do these Race Spirits work in and upon man? They work in a very unique way; they permeate his vital energies, they penetrate even down into his physical body. Now you know that the four fundamental members of man find their impress and are reflected in corresponding parts of the physical body: the 'I' finds its impress in the blood, the astral body in the nervous system, the etheric or life body in the glandular system. Only the physical body is self-sufficient; it is a reflection of its own inner being which for the man of the present is subject to its own fixed laws. Now those spiritual Beings who are stirring in man and determine his racial character cannot at first work directly into his higher vehicles. They are active first of all in these reflections of the higher vehicles in the physical body. They cannot as yet enter directly into the physical body, but they are active in the three other members, in the blood which is the reflection of the 'I'; in the nervous system, the reflection of the astral body; and in the glandular system which is the reflection of the etheric body. The Race Spirits, the abnormal Spirits of Form, are active in these three systems, which are part of man's organic system, but are reflections of the higher vehicles. Thus the physical body of man is determined from within. These various spiritual Beings invade those members of the physical body which are the preliminary drafts, the suggestions of the higher vehicles. Now where, for instance, does Mercury make his influence felt? Under Mercury, I include all the abnormal Spirits of Form to be found in Mercury. He makes his influence felt by cooperating with others, especially in the glandular system. He is active in the glandular (or lymphatic) system where are manifested the forces born of that preponderance of the Mercury forces which are present in the Ethiopian race. Everything which gives the Ethiopian race its distinctive character sterns from the ferment of the Mercury forces in the glandular system of this people. What transforms the undifferentiated universal human form into the distinctive Ethiopian typewith his black pigmentation and woolly or frizzy hair is the consequence of their activity.

"The Semitic people are an example of a modification of collective humanity. Jahve or Jehovah shuts Himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character by cooperating with the Mars Spirits, in order to bring about a special modification of his people. You will now understand the peculiar character of the Semitic people and its mission. In a profound occult sense the Biblical writer was able to claim that Jahve or Jehovah had made this people his own. If you add to this the fact that Jahve cooperated with the Mars Spirits who worked principally in the blood, you will understand why racial continuity through the blood-stream was of particular importance to the Semitic Hebrew people and why Jahve describes Himself as the God who is present in the blood of the generations, in the blood of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When he declared himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He proclaimed that He was present in the blood-stream of the Patriarchs. Whatsoever works in the blood, whatsoever must be determined through the blood - the cooperation with the Mars Spirits - that is one of the mysteries which give us a deep insight into the wise guidance of all mankind. The blood of mankind is thus subject to a twofold influence; two races emerge, the Mongolian race and the Semitic race. This points to the existence of an important polarity in mankind and we must emphasize the immense importance of this polarity if we wish to plumb the depths of the Folk Souls.

"Consequently the various peoples may assume the most diverse forms. According as the eye or the ear or one of the other senses predominates, so will the different peoples respond in this or that way to the particularnational tendency within the racial character. In consequence of this they are faced with quite specific tasks. The particular task of the Caucasian race is to find the way to the spirit through the senses, for this race is orientated chiefly towards the sense-world. Here is disclosed something that introduces us to the deeper secrets of occultism; it shows how, in those peoples who are subject to the Venus forces, the initial steps in development, even in occult development, must be concentrated on the respiratory system. Amongst the peoples living more in the Western Hemisphere, on the other hand, the initial steps must start from an enrichment and a spiritualization of the life of the senses. This is experienced by those peoples inhabiting countries more towards the West in their stages of higher cognition, in Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition, in so far as the Jupiter Spirit originally modified the character.

"Finally, the abnormal Spirits of Form who have their centre in Saturn work indirectly via all the other systems into the glandular system. In the Saturn race, therefore, in everything to which we must ascribe the Saturn character, we must expect to find the combination of the forces leading to the twilight of mankind, forces which set the seal upon its development and sow the seeds of its ultimate decline. This action and its effect upon the glandular system can be seen in the American Indian race and was the cause of its ultimate extinction. The Saturn influence finally works via all the other systems into the glandular system which secretes the hardest parts of man. This slow decline is characterized by a kind of ossification which is clearly reflected in the external form. If you look at the pictures of the old American Indians the process of ossification described above is evident in the decline of this race. In a race such as this everything pertaining to the forces of theSaturn evolution has become realized in a special manner; then Saturn withdrew into itself, abandoned man to his bony system and thus hastened his decline." (Rudolf Steiner, The Mission of Single Folk Souls in Relation to Germanic-Nordic Mythology -Lecture 6 -The five main races of Mankind)

The Black Race

"On the one hand there is the black race, which is the most earthly. When this race goes toward the West, it dies out. Then there is the yellow race, in the middle between the earth and the cosmos. When this race goes toward the East, it turns brown, it attaches itself too much to the cosmos and dies out. The white race is the race of the future, the race that works creatively on the spirit." (Rudolf Steiner, “Farbe und Menschenrassen”, lecture in Dornach March 3, 1923, in Steiner, Vom Leben des Menschen und der Erde, Dornach 1993, p. 67)

"one can only understand history and all of social life, including today's social life, if one pays attention to people's racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin." (Rudolf Steiner, “Farbe und Menschenrassen”, lecture in Dornach March 3, 1923, in Steiner, Vom Leben des Menschen und der Erde, Dornach 1993, p. 52)

"In the Negro the rear-brain is especially developed. It goes through his spinal cord. And this is able to assimilate all the light and warmth that are inside a person. Therefore everything connected to the body and the metabolism is strongly developed in the Negro. He has, as they say, powerful physical drives. The Negro has a powerful instinctual life. And because he actually has the sun, light, and warmth on his body surface, in his skin, his whole metabolism operates as if he were being cooked inside by the sun. That is where his instinctual life comes from. The Negro is constantly cooking inside, and what feeds this fire is his rear-brain." (Rudolf Steiner, “Farbe und Menschenrassen”, lecture in Dornach March 3, 1923, in Steiner, Vom Leben des Menschen und der Erde, Dornach 1993, p. 55)

"Recently I went into a bookstore in Basel and found an example of the latest publishing agenda: a Negro novel, just as the Negroes in general are entering into European civilization step by step! Everywhere Negro dances are being performed, Negro dances are being hopped. But we even have this Negro novel already. It is utterly boring, dreadfully boring, but people devour it. I am personally convinced that if we get more Negro novels, and give these Negro novels to pregnant women to read during the first phase of pregnancy, when as you know they can sometimes develop such cravings, if we give these Negro novels to pregnant women to read, then it won’t even be necessary for Negroes to come to Europe in order for mulattoes to appear. Simply through the spiritual effects of reading Negro novels, a multitude of children will be born in Europe that are completely gray, that have mulatto hair, that look like mulattoes!" (Rudolf Steiner,lecture in Dornach December 30, 1922, in Steiner, Über Gesundheit und Krankheit, Dornach 1994, p. 189)

"These blacks in Africa characteristically suck in, absorb, all light and all heat from the cosmos. And, humans being humans, this light and this heat from the cosmos cannot pass through the entire body. It does not flow through the entire body, but it stops at the skin. In this way, the complexion itself becomes black. Consequently, a black in Africa is a human who absorbs and assimilates as much light and heat from the cosmos as possible. As he does this, the forces of the cosmos work throughout that human. Everywhere, he absorbs light and heat, really everywhere. He assimilates them within himself. There really must be something which helps him in this assimilation. That something is mainly the cerebellum. This is why a Negro has an especially well developed cerebellum. This is linked to the spinal marrow; and they can assimilate all light and heat which a human contains. As a consequence, especially the aspects which pertain to the body and to metabolism are strongly developed in a Negro. He has a strong sexual urge -as people call it-, strong instincts. And as, with him, all which comes from the sun -light and heat- really is at the skin's surface, all of his metabolism works as if the sun itself is boiling in his inside. This causes his passions. Within a Negro, cooking is going on all the time; and the cerebellum kindles the fire. (...) And we, Europeans, we poor Europeans, we have the thinking life, which resides in the head. (...) Therefore, Europe has always been the starting point of everything which develops the human entity in such a way that at the same time a relationship with the outside world arises. (...)"Really, it is the whites who develop the human factor within themselves. Therefore they have to rely on themselves. When whites do emigrate, they partly take on the characteristics of other areas, but they die more as individuals than as a race. The white race is the race of the future, the race that is working creatively with the spirit."(Steiner, March 3 1923, lecture to the workmen (GA 349 p. 67))

"One can only understand history and all of social life, including today's social life, if one pays attention to people's racial characteristics. And one can only understand all that is spiritual in the correct sense if one first examines how this spiritual element operates within people precisely through the color of their skin. ("Steiner, Vom Leben des Menschen und der Erde (GA 349), Dornach 1980, p. 52. 1923)

"We are not justified in thinking that human beings were originally like the savages of today. The savages have developed into what they now are--with their superstitions, their magical practices and their unclean appearance--from states originally more perfect. The only superiority we have over them is that, while starting from the same conditions, we did not degenerate as they did. I might therefore say: The evolution of man has taken two paths. It is not true that the savages of today represent the original condition of mankind. Mankind, though to begin with it looked more animal-like, was highly civilized. ... Just as the present savages have fallen from the level of the human beings of primeval times, so the apes are beings who have fallen still lower." (Steiner, Rudolf. The Evolution of the Earth and Man and the Influence of the Stars. (1924) Trans. Gladys Hahn. Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1987, p126)

Steiner Quotes - Specifically Waldorf Related


The Task of Anthroposophy

"The task of Anthroposophy is not simply to replace a false view of the world with a correct one...The task is to raise the spirit-soul into the realm of the spiritual, so that the human being is no longer a thinking and feeling automaton...The human being is...in danger of drifting into the Ahrimanic world, in which case the spirit-soul will evaporate into the cosmos.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 115.)

Demonic Possession in Children

Dr. Steiner: “That little girl L.. in the first grade must have something very wrong inside. There is not much we can do. Such cases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings in relation to their highest I [the highest element of one’s spiritual being]; instead, they are filled with beings that do not belong to the human class. Quite a number of people have been born since the [1890s] without an I, that is, they are not reincarnated, but are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon. There are quite a large number of older people going around who are actually not human beings, but only natural; they are human beings only in regard to their form. We cannot, however, create a school for demons.”

A teacher: “How is that possible?”

Dr. Steiner: “Cosmic error is certainly not impossible. The relationships of individuals coming into earthly existence have long been determined. There are also generations in which individuals have no desire to come into earthly existence and be connected with physicality, or immediately leave at the very beginning. In such cases, other beings that are not quite suited step in.... They are also quite different from human beings in regard to everything spiritual. They can, for example, never remember such things as sentences; they have a memory only for words, not for sentences....

“I do not like to talk about such things since we have often been attacked even without them. Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts. Our culture would not be in such a decline if people felt more strongly that a number of people are going around who, because they are completely ruthless, have become something that is not human, but instead are demons in human form.

“Nevertheless, we do not want to shout that to the world. Our opposition is already large enough. Such things are really shocking to people. I caused enough shock when I needed to say that a very famous university professor, after a very short time between death and rebirth, was reincarnated as a black scientist. We do not want to shout such things out into the world.” (Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, Anthroposophical Press, 1998, pp. 649-650.)

"Demons are born through man's immoral conduct. Let us look at the difference between the demons that arise through immoral behaviour and the spiritual entities - spiritual in so far as they only achieve a watery existence on Earth - the spiritual forms that are created by moral actions." ...

"The demons created out of immoral actions also have an astral body, an ether body and a physical body, at the watery level of course, but they do not have the basis for developing an ego. They are born headless, as it were. They do not take up the basis for regular evolution to Jupiter existence but reject it. By doing so they condemn themselves to a fate of dropping out of evolution and adding to the hordes of Luciferic beings, falling into their power. Unable to progress in a regular way they become parasites. This is what happens to all the spirits who reject normal evolution; they have to attach themselves to others in order to progress. Spirits who arise through immoral actions have a particular tendency to be parasites in human evolution on Earth under Lucifer's leadership, and to seize hold of the evolution of human beings before these make their physical entry into the world. They attack human beings during the embryonic stage and share their existence between conception and birth. Some of these spirits, if they are strong enough, can continue to accompany the human being after birth, creating the phenomena seen in children who are possessed.

"The criminal demons attached as parasite to unborn children cause deterioration in the succession of the generations; this eats into human beings, making them less good than they would be if these demons did not exist. There are various reasons for the decline of families, tribes, people and nations, but one of them is the existence of these criminal demon parasites during the period mentioned.

"These things play an important part in Earth evolution as a whole, and we are here touching on deep secrets of human existence. People often acquire certain prejudices and points of view even before they are born because of this. They are then tormented by doubts and uncertainties in life, and all kinds of other things, because of these demonic parasites.

"These spirits cannot do very much once human beings develop their ego, but they prey on them all the more before they are born or in their earliest years." (from "Future Jupiter Existence" (Dornach, 3 January 1915), reprinted in Angels: Selected Lectures by Rudolf Steiner; London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996 reprinted 1998). (pp 167-168))

Whoever could be misled by the preceding expositions into believing that the described evolution bears a fatalistic stamp, would have misunderstood them. Whoever were to believe that in such an evolution a certain number of men would be condemned to belong to the kingdom of “evil humanity,” fails to perceive how the mutual relationship between outer world and the world of soul and spirit takes shape in this evolution. Both outer world and the world of soul and spirit form, within certain limits, separate evolutionary streams. Through the forces inherent in the sensory stream there arise the forms of the “evil human kingdom.” The necessity for a human soul to incarnate in such a form will only occur if this soul itself has created the conditions for it. The case might also arise that the forms originating from the forces of the sensory could not find human souls originating in the previous age, for these souls might be too good for that type of body. These forms would then have to be ensouled from the cosmos by something quite different from former human souls. Human souls will incarnate in the forms characterized only when they have made themselves ready for such an incarnation. Supersensible cognition is bound to state what it perceives concerning this sphere, namely, that in the future indicated there will exist two human kingdoms, one good and one evil, but it does not abstractly deduce from the present state of human souls a future state appearing as though with the force of self-evident necessity. Evolution of human forms and evolution of soul-destinies must be sought by supersensible cognition on two quite separate paths; any attempt to mix the two in the conception of the world would be a remnant of a materialistic attitude that, if present, would project itself dangerously into the science of the supersensible.”


Science in Waldorf

“With the students, we should at least try to...make it clear that, for instance, an island like Great Britain swims in the sea and is held fast by the forces of the stars. In actuality, such islands do not sit directly upon a foundation; they swim and are held fast from outside.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 607.)

“It is not that the planets move around the Sun, but these three, Mercury, Venus, and the Earth, follow the Sun, and these three, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, precede it.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER., pp. 30-31.)


Teaching Reincarnation to Waldorf Students

“For the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade independent religious instruction we could move into a freer form and give a theoretical explanation about such things as life before birth and after death. We could give them examples. We could show them how to look at the major cultural connections and about the mission of the human being on Earth. You need only look at Goethe and Jean Paul [i.e., Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, a German author] to see it. You can show everywhere that their capacities come from a life before birth.” (FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 184.)

Physical Assessment of Student


"And now, if you will begin to observe the child for yourselves -- [to the boy]
Come here a minute! -- you will find many things to notice. Let me draw your
attention, first of all, to the strongly developed lower half of the face. Look
at the shape of the nose and the mouth. The mouth is always a little open, which
has an effect on dental development. It is important to note these things, for
they are unquestionably bound up with the whole soul-and-spirit constitution of
the child... The formation you see here in the jaws -- the jaws belong, of
course, to the limb system -- is wholly part of the head system ... (Look, he's
amused! I think Fraulein B. was asking him why he keeps his mouth open, and his
reply was: 'To let the flies come in.' This is a firmly fixed opinion of his.)

"... Here (in the front) as we remarked, the head is pressed together. In all
probability this points back to a purely mechanical injury, either at birth or
during pregnancy, a mechanical injury in which we can see nothing else than a
working of karma ...

"[T]he whole breathing system ... is very little under control ... Hence the
symptom that is so conspicuous in a child of this kind ... What ought to happen
is that gradually, in the course of life, the whole system of movement in man
should become a servant of the intellectual system. [To the boy] Stand still a
minute! And now come here to me and do this! (Dr. Steiner makes a movement with
his arm as if to take hold of something; the boy does not make the movement.)
Never mind! We mustn't force him. Do you see? It is difficult for him to do
anything; he has not the power to exercise the right control over his
metabolism-and-limbs system...." [Rudolf Steiner, EDUCATION FOR SPECIAL NEEDS
(Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), pp. 106-110.]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photo Gallery


HIGHLAND HALL WALDORF SCHOOL




Me - Putting Up Missing Child Posters at Highland Hall


Highland Hall's Alumni Director, Jacqui Dres, Removing Missing Child Posters while my daughter was STILL MISSING!  Many of Highland Hall's teachers and staff helped remove the posters.  What kind of monsters would do this?



My Daughter - Arrested at the Home of Mark Bailey













 Ed Eadon - This monster conspired with my ex wife to run interference on behalf of the school with minor's counsel.  He spent hours on the phone (I have the bill) trying to convince minor's counsel about how terrible it was that I was communicating with other parents at the school and how I was violating the school's ever-changing communication's protocol by doing so.  This is solid evidence of conspiracy.






Alessandra Lisa Scemema Profumo - Knew about the history of the pedophile teenage son of newly hired Wendy Wilkins but said nothing to parents nor faculty.  She knew my children were playing with this pedophile daily in after school care but said NOTHING.  When the inevitable happened and children were molested on Highland Hall's campus (2 police reports were filed) Lisa - a MANDATED REPORTER, COVERED UP the incidents.  When outraged parents confronted her, she lied about having "signed contracts" with the teacher among other things.  A facilitator was eventually brought in.  This incident was a nightmare for parents - AND for many teachers at the school who felt betrayed by one of their own.  Lisa is one of the most dangerous people in Waldorf. 


Merrily Lovell taught my son in physiology class: "The blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from Africa and Asia."  This is EXACTLY what Steiner taught.  Proof that Steiner's racist ideas enter the Waldorf classroom as science.  When I questioned this lesson, Highland Hall SUPPORTED it!






Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lefthandedness - by Rudolf Steiner


Remarks by Rudolf Steiner on Left-handedness

Conferences with Waldorf School Teachers (GA 300a,b,c)
Translated by Robert F. Lathe and Nancy Parsons Whittaker

June 14, 1920

A teacher asks about left- handed writing.

Dr. Steiner: In general, you will find that those children who have spiritual tendencies can write with either the left or right hand without trouble, but those children with materialistic tendencies will become addled if they are allowed to write with both hands. Right-handedness occurs for a reason. In this materialistic age, left-handed children will become addled if they use both hands alternately. Under certain circumstances, that is something very questionable to do, particularly in things related to reasoning but it is not a problem in drawing. You can allow the children to draw with both hands.

May 10, 1922

A music teacher asks about working with both hands in the beginning piano class.

Dr. Steiner: That is a very good question. Left-handedness is easily corrected through piano practice. We need to keep that in mind. Left-handedness should always be corrected. However, we should pay attention to the temperament of the child. Thus, we should give preference to the right hand with melancholics. You will easily find they have a tendency to play with the left hand. With cholerics, you should give preference to the left hand. With phlegmatics, you should see that they use both hands in balance, and the same is the case for sanguine children. That is what is important and should be the goal.

It is also advantageous, if you attempt as far as possible to see that the children do not have a mere mechanical feeling about piano playing, but that they also learn to "feel" the keys. They should learn for themselves the different positions on the piano, above and below, right and left. It is also good, at least at the beginning, to have the children play without written music.

May 25, 1923

A teacher: Should the children be broken of left-handedness?

Dr. Steiner: In general, yes. At the younger ages, approximately before the age of nine, you can accustom left-handed children to right-handedness at school. You should not do that only if it would have a damaging effect, which is very seldom the case. Children are not a sum of things, but exponentially complicated. If you attempt to create symmetry between the right and left with the children, and you exercise both hands in balance, that can lead to weak mindedness later in life.

The phenomenon of left-handedness is clearly karmic, and, in connection with karma, it is one of karmic weakness. Allow me to give an example: A person who was overworked in their previous life, so that they did too much, not only physically or intellectually, but, in general, spiritually, within their soul or feeling, will enter the succeeding life with an intense weakness. That person will be incapable of overcoming the karmic weakness located in the lower human being. (The part of the human being that results from the life between death and a new birth is particularly concentrated in the lower human being, whereas the part that comes from the previous Earthly life is concentrated more in the head.) Thus, what would otherwise be strongly developed becomes weak, and the left leg and left hand are particularly relied upon as a crutch. The preference for the left hand results in a situation where, instead of the left, the right side of the brain is used in speech.

If you give into that too much, then that weakness may perhaps remain for a later, that is, a third Earthly life. If you do not give in, then the weakness is brought into balance.

If you make a child do everything equally well with the right and left hand, writing, drawing, work and so forth, then the inner human being will be neutralized. Then the I and the astral body are so far removed that the person becomes quite lethargic later in life. Without any intervention, the etheric body is stronger toward the left than the right, and the astral body is more developed toward the right than the left. That is something you may not ignore; you should pay attention to that. However, we may not attempt a simple mechanical balance. The most naive thing you can do is to have as a goal that the children should work with both hands equally well. A desire for a balanced development of both hands arises from today's complete misunderstanding of the nature of the human being.

The Renewal of Education (GA 301)

Translated by Robert F. Lathe and Nancy Parsons Whittaker

May 7, 1920

[The following remarks were made by Rudolf Steiner during a series of lectures to an audience of public school teachers in Basel, Switzerland. The remarks deal primarily with the question of ambidexterity. As such, they appear to echo Dr. Sonia Setzer's comments above.]

Now I come to a question I have often been asked and that has some significance, namely, the question of left-handedness or ambidexterity.

Right-handedness has become general human habit that we use for writing and other tasks. It is certainly appropriate to extend that by making the left hand, in a sense, more dexterous. That has a certain justification. When we discuss such things, however, our discussion will bear fruit only if we have some deeper insight into the conditions of human life. When we move into a period in which the entire human being should be awakened, when we move into a period in which, in addition to the capacities for abstraction that are so well developed today, the feeling for culture and a capacity to feel as well as act would play a role, we will be able to speak quite differently about many questions than we can now. If education continues as it is today, so that people are always stuck in abstractions (materialism is precisely what is stuck in abstractions) and education does not help us to understand the material through the spiritual then, after a time, you will become convinced that teaching people to use both hands for writing will trap them in a kind of mental weakness. That results in part from how we are today as human beings, and how we presently use the right hand to a much greater extent than the left. The fact that the whole human being is not completely symmetrically formed also plays a part, particularly in regard to certain organs. When we use both hands to write, for example, this has a deep effect upon the entire human organism.

I would not speak about such things had I not done considerable research in this area and had I not tried, for example, to understand what it means to use the left hand. When people develop a capacity for observing the human being, they will be able to determine through experimenting what it means to use the left hand. When human beings reach a certain level of independence of the spirit and soul from the physical body, it is good to use the left hand; but the dependence of modern people upon the physical body causes a tremendous revolution in the physical body itself when the left hand is used in the same manner, for example, in writing, as the right. One of the most important points in this regard is that this would stress the right side of the body, the right side of the brain, beyond what modern people can normally tolerate. When people have been taught according to the methods and educational principles we have discussed here, then they may also be ambidextrous. In modern society, we may not simply go on to using both hands. These are things I can say from experience. Statistics would certainly support what I have said today.

At Highland Hall - Volunteer Committees are Controlled by Board and Faculty

Highland Hall Board and Faculty Control Committees

The Highland Hall Community - Deaf Ears?

Here is another correspondence with the Highland Hall community. I have the date for this one listed as July 30, 2006.



Friends,

While I welcome the dialog that has begun (even though I am apparently not on everyone's mailing list) it is difficult to sit by and say nothing while so much anger seems to be directed at me. Does anyone really think I am to blame for Mrs. Leonard's suspension? Seriously? Even the Evaluation Committee claims my email communications did not shape their decision. Obviously, Mrs. Leonard's actions shaped their decision.

Mrs. Leonard alone is to blame - her actions clearly speak for themselves. How convenient it must be to blame me for pointing out what she said and did. Mrs. Leonard was seen handing out pills -not me. Mrs. Leonard read the rape/incest story to the children of her class - not me. Mrs. Leonard encouraged her class to join her in singing about battery and mutilation of a woman - not me. Nobody can deny these events transpired. I pointed these things out and expressed why I think they are inappropriate. If you disagree with me and you want your child exposed to such songs and stories, please read or sing them to your child separately. They do NOT belong in a classroom - no matter how disturbed the teacher, antiquated the teaching methods or bizarre the tenets of the society represented by that classroom.

I am not angry at Mrs. Leonard for I believe her to be ill, but I was angry at Highland Hall for dragging their feet while my child was regularly and continuously exposed to inappropriate behavior. I now applaud Highland Hall for finally taking the appropriate action against a teacher who has consistently used extremely poor judgment in her behavior and lesson plans. I strongly disagree that keeping her through the end of the semester would be of any benefit to the children whatsoever and believe that in fact it would indeed be extremely dangerous - not to mention exposing Highland Hall to serious liability should anything else happen during that time. Mrs. Leonard is obviously not well and should not be around children - this much is clear. Furthermore, she has proven that a reprimand from the school is not sufficient to contain her enthusiasm for exposing our children to inappropriate materials and behavior. I believe it would be in the children's best interests if a new teacher replaced Mrs. Leonard as soon as possible. I hope and pray that Mrs. Leonard will receive the help she needs and recover soon.

Pete Karaiskos

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Working with Highland Hall - Open Letter to Highland Hall Community

Pete Karaiskos

Open letter to Highland Hall:
The Board of Directors
The College of Teachers
The Administration
The Faculty
The Parent Body

July 4, 2001
Dear Friends,
Highland Hall is a school in a crisis! I have tried unsuccessfully to have faith that things will get better. Recently my faith was, once again, shattered with the recent problems surrounding the employment of Wendy Wilkins. I say "once again" because I have observed a pattern of "faith-shattering" decisions, policies and attitudes for at least two years. What is most distressing to me is that the people exhibiting such poor judgment are the same people who are involved in the education of my children.

Frankly, I am furious at what my children have had to go through regarding their teachers. My son Christopher was misplaced with Mrs. Dimitrova and then, after he was exhibiting some stress, we had him repeat the 2nd grade with Mr. Janczak's class where he thrived. Then we lost Mr. Janczak and he first had Mrs. Leonard, and then ended up with Mrs. Wilkins. Now, he will have yet another teacher to look forward to.

My daughter, [redacted], has been from Miss Atkinson to Mrs. Devries to Mrs. Leonard and it looks like Mrs. Leonard will only be here another year. She, too, will have to adjust to yet another teacher it seems. It was necessary for her to adapt to three different teachers in order for her to complete two grades. At what point can a parent conclude that the school isn't working in the best interest of their children?

Now, none of this would have transpired if not for the senseless firing of Mr. Janczak. I don't think it serves any purpose to stir up old wounds, and I only mention the firing of Mr. Janczak here because it raises the questions of the more relevant issue of trust. I believe we all witnessed a pre-rehearsed school-supported conspiratorial effort to discredit Mr. Janczak in the eyes of the parents of his class. More than a year has gone by and I still don't understand why. The almost unanimous show of support by the parents for their children's teacher counted for nothing. Why not? The light went out of my son's and many of his classmate's eyes when they lost his teacher. How are we parents supposed to trust that the faculty, college, board and administration are working in our children's best interest after this?

I can't understand the hiring of the new 2nd grade teacher - Mrs. DeVries. I can't imagine what could have been going through the mind of the persons who accepted this woman's application, but I can understand that there may not have been very many applicants for the position. Five minutes into the first meeting with Mrs. DeVries, I knew she wasn't qualified to teach at any level, let alone at a Waldorf school and I also knew I didn't want her for my daughter's teacher. I can't imagine the person who would in good conscience make the decision to saddle my child with such an unqualified teacher - theoretically through the eighth grade. I am not going to berate anyone for making a bad decision but I would pose the question - What voice do we as individual parents have when the school selects a teacher that obviously isn't qualified - or wants to remove a teacher who obviously is qualified? What choice do we have but to be united in our voice in order to promote positive change? And in the case where we have united behind a teacher, why wasn't our voice heard?

Concurrent with the hiring of Mrs. DeVries, Mrs. Wilkins was hired. Aside from her
obvious family problems, she was hardly the caliber of teacher she was replacing - that was, again, obvious. Again, maybe there was a shortage of teachers at the time this hiring was going on. Clearly, the school was negligent in researching her background. Clearly, the school may have been less than forthcoming with information about her. It was, apparently, very easy to discover her past history with a few phone calls. The question is - Why weren't these phone calls made? And, if they were made and this information was discovered, why was she hired? And, if she had to be hired, why weren't we, the parents, informed so that we could decide for ourselves whether this teacher was one that we would accept for our children? As a parent affected by the hiring of this inadequate and potentially harmful teacher, I would have preferred to have been informed that NO suitable teacher could be found to take the class. At least that would have been honest on the part of the school and I could have been the one to make the choices affecting my child's education and well-being.

A tremendous trust was broken when the school hired these two teachers. I'm sorry, but I've lost enough faith in this school to consider the possibility that, in light of the fact that a competitive school was being formed by our former teachers, a decision was reached that the issue of filling the teaching spot took precedent over pursuing the questions of incompetence or a potentially dangerous history in the new teacher's background. I can only hope I'm wrong about this.

One might pose another question here. What is it about Highland Hall, a well-established Waldorf School, that doesn't seem to be able to attract the top teachers in the country? When it does attract good teachers, why is it unable to keep them? I believe the problem is internal. I believe there is an undercurrent that is eroding the foundation principles of this school, demoralizing the teachers and isolating the parents. The undercurrent puts what it believes are the needs of the school above the needs of the children. The undercurrent is more concerned about boosting tuition than it is about producing a healthy learning environment. The undercurrent is more concerned with how much money an event will draw than it is about how safe our children will be during the event. And, when something goes wrong, the undercurrent insists that parents only talk directly to the College or Board, and not among themselves.

This undercurrent is something I've noticed - perhaps we've all noticed it. It is quick to discredit a once beloved teacher who chose to move on rather than have their spirit diminished and their ego sucked out of them. The undercurrent expects loyalty - going with the flow. It undermines those that would oppose its force - whether teacher or parent. The undercurrent works beneath the surface, as any good undercurrent should. It doesn't come out and say things in public, it whispers in hallways. It may help us understand why an admired teacher who was fired is actually much better off now because she can be free to pursue her other aspirations. It can instantly comfort us by explaining that a child who was molested on our yard wasn't actually one of our own students, or that a parent who asks for temporary financial help could afford their tuition easily if they would just manage their money better. It swirls around us hoping to envelop us in its flow and to pull us in its direction. It has swept up many of our finest teachers
in its force - teachers who once stood up for their students with dignity, but now bow their heads in shame when parents confront them. Sadly, the light has gone out of their eyes too!

When the undercurrent comes to the surface, it gains momentum through solidarity - as was the case with Mr. Janczak's release. We all saw the undercurrent in action on that evening. They presented a united front - forget whether any of the innuendo tossed around that evening could be substantiated. A few undecided parents who considered leaving the school were immediately separated out and persuaded to stay through some loyalty to the school, or for the sake of their children, or through promises of "things will get better - you'll see". That night the undercurrent got stronger, and things got worse, not better.

Those of us who wrote letters supporting one of our parents who needed tuition assistance felt the instant force of the undercurrent - there was nothing friendly about it - it was strong and fierce with no chance of deviation from its course, it left us no room to take a breath - its purpose was to suck us down and hold us down until we gave in. And, we had to give in didn't we? After all, what choice do we have - the undercurrent holds our children too.

It may be easy for some to label me a troublemaker (no doubt the undercurrent will have a field day with me) simply because I have observed these events and drawn my own conclusions. Now that I have voiced my opinions, I'm sure the undercurrent will discredit me. You, too, may wonder how someone who brings such a negative view be anything but bad for the school. Please believe me when I say that nothing would make me happier than to be completely wrong about everything I have said here. Nothing would make me happier than to have the wonderful, well-balanced school we all expect, instead of the dysfunctional one we've all come to tolerate. I don't mind being labeled a troublemaker, however - better to go against the current of dishonesty than to become part of it. I contend that I am not the one doing harm to Highland Hall.

I believe the undercurrent are good people working within Highland Hall - people that have made their priority what they believe are the needs of the school. Unfortunately this has often proven to be at the cost of the needs of the children. This is not only morally wrong, it is bad business and ultimately detrimental to the school as much as to the children. Although they are well-meaning, I believe these people are doing this school serious harm and it is only by acknowledging what is happening that we can move forward from what are very dark times at Highland Hall.

I would like to challenge these people to acknowledge - if only to themselves - who they are and what they are doing and to please step back or step down. If you don't know whether you are part of the undercurrent, I'll help you discover this for yourself. If you put ANYTHING above the best interests of the children at Highland Hall, you are part of it - so shake yourself off and have a good look. If you are one of the ones who interviewed Mrs. DeVries and didn't notice anything wrong, please step down and let someone else do the interviewing from now on. If you discovered Mrs. Wilkins past history and didn't feel the moral obligation to inform the parents and protect the children of the school, please step aside and let someone else take your place. Whether or not you agreed with the outcome, if you saw nothing wrong with how the meeting of Mr. Janczak's release was conducted,
you are working not for, but in opposition to the good of the school. If you disagree with how things are, but feel pressured to go with the flow - please find a backbone now.

And, if you don't have enough backbone to stand up for what you believe is right, even if it may cause you discomfort among your peers or even cost you your job, please excuse yourselves from teaching our children. We expect, and our children deserve MUCH better!

I don't apologize for being so blunt - I have no time left to waste for my children's sake.

On this Independence Day I think of our forefathers and the suffering they had to endure to stand up for what they believed in, not because it was popular, not because it was easy, but because it was right! It's too late to undo the damage that has been done - and there has been a lot of damage at every level, to our school, to our friends, to our children - but we can avoid more damage by changing direction now. As we each notice the undercurrent that is demoralizing our school, we should be sure to acknowledge it, confront it, and be certain we are not swept unwillingly into its stream. Let's all try to work together to come to terms with what has happened recently and to push for changes so these mistakes (and the decisions that led to them) don't happen again. Let us group together and share our feelings - for in openness and honesty the undercurrent cannot survive. It is my sincere hope to affect a change for a stronger Highland Hall - one in which the requirements of the children take precedent over everything else. This is the
way I envision it and with God's will, the way it will be someday soon.

God bless us all,
Pete Karaiskos

Working with Highland Hall - Pete gets ambushed

Dear Seventh Grade Parents,

I have been warned not to post messages here or I will continue to be isolated from your class. Threats don't work on me.

Those of you who were at the class meeting last week had the opportunity to see our school at its worst. Here was a case of the school isolating a single parent for discrediting, gossip, slander and isolation. If it could happen to me, it could happen to you. For anyone who is puzzled at what happened at the class meeting, here it is - plain and simple.

The leadership team consists of 5 people. Three are parents in our class - the remaining two are kindergarten/nursery teachers. Those who know me know that I am connected by marriage to the kindergarten. Also, reading through my previous posts on OpenWaldorf, you will see I have had a very difficult time with at least one member of the leadership team - and one of our teacher's mentors, and that I have criticized the leadership team in general since its formation. This sets the stage for me to be silenced.

When the leadership team decided to take over the 7th grade, I made a fuss about the mechanics class I had planned. Parents are allowed to provide expertise in classes - this helps the children considerably. When the kids were learning about electricity, I planned field trips for them to an electric lamp factory and an electric guitar factory. Other parents are providing expertise in the class play and so on. But, for some reason, I was excluded from the mechanics class. I had a sense of why that was, but wasn't sure.

Next came the camping trip. I have been taking this class (as have many other parents) on camping trips since the 2nd grade. I missed last year and many kids complained - making me promise to take them this year. Not only do I cook for them, I lead them on hikes and lead them in activities, and in some cases, I've planned the entire trip. When a child wakes up in the middle of the night and needs to use the restroom, they are more likely to wake me to take them than their own teacher. That's the way it is - your kids love me and trust me - and I love every one of them. Yet, the leadership team, in its wisdom, decided to intercede and take over the camping trip - apparently, now, for the sole purpose of excluding me from the trip. I alerted our teacher and one of his mentors that I would be asking why I was excluded from the trip at the class meeting. This set up what you saw that night.

When I posed the question to our teacher, he passed the question to his mentor - this one is my daughter's godmother (I mention this because not knowing this, one would have a difficult time understanding exactly how painful this was for me). It was explained in front of all the parents that because of my participation on OpenWaldorf, I have been excluded from the camping trip. There it is - plain and simple. Some parents don't trust me and won't send their children on the trip if I go - because I criticize the school. And, having made that accusation in front of all the parents, the mentor and other leadership team members invited me to take the discussion outside. I did. What ensued was a horrible outpouring of emotions. I'm not at all surprised that the leadership team would do this - Waldorf critics have a name for this behavior, it is called "love bombing" and happens all the time.

That parents would support this, however, is astonishing to me. In our discussions outside the classroom, I really couldn't understand what I had done wrong - or what I could change about my behavior that would make me a better person. No parent has supported this class more than I have. My criticism is of the school. That the leadership team would interfere in a class trip that was already planned, in order to remove one parent for political reasons is exactly why I criticize Highland Hall. I was told that this action had the support of some of the parents. Despite my problems with Highland Hall, I have opened my heart to this class - and it's a big heart, unfortunately, a big heart is an easy target and Highland Hall has hit it right on the mark. Frankly, I wouldn't want my children around parents who are so underhanded and dishonest - and don't have the courage to even identify themselves (not that I don't know who they are). Parents who would support the school in this type of activity are just as much a part of what's wrong with Highland Hall as the Leadership Team that sits around thinking up ways to exclude a good parent from a particular activity. Shame on you.

Last week was the May faire, and I attended with a bit of a heavy heart. Then I saw the smiling face of one of our teachers. A teacher who *struck a child*. No guilt, no heavy heart - the teacher could mingle around the faire without a care in the world. I'm watching this teacher and I'm thinking to myself - what's wrong with this picture? And the answer came to me. Only in the warped lenses of Highland Hall, would this paradox exist - a good parent who has never uttered a hurtful word to anyone's child should have a heavy heart while a teacher who struck a child has a light one. This absurdity gave me renewed courage to take up my pen and continue my efforts to bring Highland Hall to reality. Highland Hall's behavior is absurd, their leaders are dysfunctional and parents who support this type of nonsense are ridiculous caricatures of the decent people they pretend to be.

I have done nothing to be ashamed of - and I have done much that I am proud of, in this school and especially with this class. If my freedom to criticize things I see are wrong at our school must be sacrificed in order for me to accepted by certain parents, believe me, I can do without the acceptance of such people. To the parent that came to me in honest love, know that I love you. For those who haven't figured it out yet - and want to shuffle me out the door before I can speak, please know that my voice WILL be heard. To those who have pleaded with me to change my ways I say - you first.

Pete Karaiskos
Parent