cover art by Victoria Hull Temple
this page once was called:
Outlaw (rebel) Anthroposophy
"Assent, and you are sane; Demure; - you're straightway dangerous
And handled with a chain" - Emily Dickenson
The book American Anthroposophy is both about something, and a demonstration of the same. If you click on the link just above you can go to a free version, or through this link buy the book. There is also a collection earlier essays you can buy called Dangerous Anthroposophy, or you can go below and read individual essays to find this earlier material.
Warning!: Anthroposophists with sectarian or dogmatic tendencies may not like the following material. Nevertheless, even if this rubs some people the wrong way, I am very open to receiving comments and engaging in dialog on the matters of content related below. e-mail
First, the contents page of the book American Anthroposophy, so that those who wander in here, can have a bit of a preview of what is to be found there:
the Contents of this Book
forward by the author - what is meant by American Anthroposophy?
preface for the neophyte - for the readers to whom Anthroposophy is quite new.
an apology (of sorts) - to the more experienced anthroposophical reader
the main themes of this book
American Anthroposophy begins to come to maturity in the situation of a given place and a given time. The dominant characteristic of this time, outwardly, is the Incarnation of Ahriman. As a consequence the first essay concerns Ahriman's Incarnation:
Outrageous Genius - Discovering the in-the-Present Incarnation of Ahriman in America through the Signs of the Times (Michaelmas* 2007) part 1: Honoring the Teacher and the Teaching; part 2) The Wise-Earth as Counter-force to Ahriman's Incarnation; part 3) Brother What Ails Thee?; and, part 4) Waking the American Anthroposophical Society and Movement for their true tasks in the 21st Century.
*[The dates of writing here and below are the time at which the original essay was produced out of the spiritual-thinking activity described in the essay: In Joyous Celebration...]
The dominant characteristic of this time, inwardly, is the True Second Coming of Christ.
"From the kingdom served by Michael himself Christ descends to the sphere of the Earth, so as to be there when the intelligence is wholly with the human individuality. For man will then feel most strongly the impulse to devote himself to the power which has made itself fully and completely into the vehicle of intellectuality. But Christ will be there; through His great sacrifice He will live in the same sphere in which Ahriman also lives. Man will be able to choose between Christ and Ahriman. The world will be able to find the Christ-way in the evolution of humanity." R.S. Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts.
The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul (winter - spring 2006)
In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship (late summer 2006)
The Methodology Necessary for a New Social Science - a brief introduction (written for this book during the Season of Michaelmas, 2007)
The Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society in America (Michaelmas 2007)
The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of the Shadow (the threefold double-complex) to the American Soul (Michaelmas 2007)
Encountering the Mystery of America
What distinguishes the now emerging natural Anthroposophy of the American Soul, from the anthroposophical work of the Twentieth Century
Present Day American Culture - four archetypal personalities (after the Holy Nights, 2008)
Recollecting the True Roots of the American Soul - America's aboriginal Peoples and the Hopi Prophecy (after the Holy Nights, 2008)
Anthroposophy and the Russian Soul - a lesson from life: instruction for all three world-aspects of Anthroposophical activity, in the West, the Center and the East - (written over Christmas Eve and Day 2006)
The New, and profoundly human, Mysteries of the Earth (written in the remaining Holy Nights just after Christmas 2006)
Rudolf Steiner's Own Path - The Philosophy of Freedom or Spiritual Activity - a brief re-imagination (written for this book just after the Holy Nights 2007-8)
a letter to a young anthroposophist (2003)
The Redemption of Eros: - Seeking Comfort and Companionship in a time of increasing Social Chaos - or, Sex and the Individual Anthroposophist (Michaelmas 2007)
The America Soul - an evolving synthesis at its moment of birth: - much has been written above - here a small effort at a summary, with a few additional insights offered as the concluding theme. (written in the Season of Easter, Spring 2008)
America: The Central Motif (by Patrick Dixon)*
*reprinted with permission, and with a great deal of gratitude that this exists...
Bicycles: a Children's Christmas Story for Adultssome final verse: the Gift of the Word
Next, those essays that are the long time background of my work at writing in relationship and about Anthroposophy, the Society and the Movement, some of which, as noted above, are collected in Dangerous Anthroposophy. The order of these essays is from the most recent going backwards to the earliest. In the book, the order is from the earliest to the latest.
What is American Anthroposophy? (Michaelmas 2005) - an essay that was originally written specifically for the European magazine Info3. [the correspondent who was to introduce this work to Info3 was unable to complete his mission] Since this never happened, it has been expanded and adapted for a wider audience. The impulse for this was that Rudolf Steiner had said that Americans had an original form of Anthroposophy, and that we should look to Emerson to appreciate it. This essay considers not only what social phenomena reveal the nature of this "natural" Anthroposphy, but also many of its heretofore unsuspected dimensions. [It is currently under construction.]
American Culture - a first look. A examination of the relationship between Western Civilization (which is dying), the emerging new civilization (which is American), and the understanding of human evolution within Spiritual Science.
Waldorf Charter Schools in America: some social observations - an essay about some characteristics of the American Soul that explain why Waldorf Charter Schools are a sound anthroposophical impulse.
The Social -Spiritual Organism of a Waldorf School Community: - (spring 1999) an essay asked for by a Waldorf Parent after I mentioned some ideas of mine in conversation. This essay explores the role of a vital parent body in the Waldorf social organism.
The Law and the Spirit - (fall 2004) some remarks in support of our considerations of the issues of the amicus brief, the problem of opposing defamation, and the constitutional question - an essay concerning the Summer 2004 Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in America about legal matters before the Society.
Listening to the World Song: (the original, summer-fall 1999) a report on the Experience of an Idea: the general social realities of modern humanity.
Waking the Sleeping Giant: the Mission of Anthroposophy in America : The above essay considers the general social conditions of modern times, and the relationship of the Mystery of America to these conditions.
The Future of Anthroposophy in the 21st Century (the week before Christmas 2006) - Concerns missing, but significantly needed, elements of the spiritual background of America, that anthroposophists very much need to practice and to understand - matters embedded deeply in the reality of the spiritual/social present.
The least read, most important book, Steiner ever wrote" (spring 2005) An essay about the significance of the book A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception.
Concerning the Renewal of Anthroposophy - rediscovering the true meaning of the New Mysterys: an essay on the significance of the Philosophy of Freedom and the Reverse Cultus, as a means for bring alive the New Mysteries in the Group and Branch work. This essay, and the one next below on the Law, were given away free at the Annual General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society, in Detroit in 2004.
Dangerous Anthroposophy (spring 2005) - Why, in the social context in which it is applied (including the Anthroposophical Society and Movement), true Anthroposophy is dangerous and subversive.
the following essays are not to be included in the book, American Anthroposophy, for the reason that such a work would be too large and thereby ask too much of the reader, both as to cost and size.
Saving Anthroposophy: from the anthroposophical society and movement. An essay on the fundamental nature of Anthroposophy as a response to the problem of knowledge, which is the common to all spiritual/psychological fault line of our Age.
A commentary on Scott E. Hicks' remarkable essay: Spiritual Beings Dwell in the Ground of Propositions: Brentano, Husserl, and Steiner on the content of thought.
A book review of Prokofieff's Anthroposphy and The Philosophy of Freedom - he doesn't know the book The Philosophy of Freedom, although he does have a mostly incorrect theory of it. That and related problems are discussed in this book review.
pragmatic moral psychology: an early look at my own practice, from 1997
The Three Wishes: written out of and somewhat about the Ann Arbor Conference of 2005.(winter-spring 1998) an essay on moral inner development submitted to the Journal for Anthroposophy in May of 1997 (along with a bit of verse - Speech ); no reply was been received.
The Crack in the Foundation of the Castle of the Dragon: a story about the Community of Anthroposophists, and their relationship to the Community of the Invisibles. Copies of which were given away to those attending the Ann Arbor Conference on Being Awake, Aug. 11-14th, 2005.
Listening to the World Song (part one) A brief Application of the Principles of Goetheanistic Thinking to the Problems of Human Social and Political Existence; and, Listening to the World Song (part two) Macro and micro aspects of the Mystery of Evil in Modern Times, as these play themselves out in the social-political organism of humanity (spring 2005)
The True Foundations for the New (living) Thinking and the New Mysteries (mid-summer, 2007) A discussion of such matters as the intellectualization of Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence in the Anthroposophical Society during the 20th Century.
Wendt on Usher on Prokofieff on Tomberg on Steiner: a little piece written for the News for Members in 2005. Didn't expect them to print it. [egads! they did - without telling me of course, and then they followed it up with an intensely polemical response by Usher - about which they also did not tell me - ohmygod, sandbagged by the News for Members!?! Are we surprised?]
Open Letter to the Anthroposophical Society, in America, as well as the World: about the need to change from a third epoch hierarchical social form, to a fifth epoch (modern) social form.
Guest Writer: Stephen Clarke - up close and personal. The deepest essays on the Mysteries of the Americas that I know.
Die and Become: the future of Anthroposophy in America: an essay offering some insight to the American Anthroposophical Society concerning its current concerns over leadership change processes.
Initiation, Goetheanism and the New Bogeyman: an essay on the importance of developing a goetheanistic social understanding in order for the anthroposophical impulse to be fully incarnated in the social world.
The World in the Light of the Human "I am": an essay, originally written for the Journal Trans-Intelligence Internationalle, but which was rightly rejected owing to this Journal's wish to remain outside arguments internal to the anthroposophical movement. The theme of the essay concerns an expansion of an idea in Listening to the World Song, concerning the problem of "how" anthroposophically inspired material should be presented to the wider world.
The Bodhisattva Question: an American Perspective: an essay putting forward a counter-myth to the ongoing undisciplined speculation, within the anthroposophical movement, concerning the this century identity of a bodhisattva incarnation of the future Maitreya Buddha. This essay has been retired from this website for personal reasons.
A Matter of Right Process: - an essay submitted just recently to the Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in America, on the recent series of comments there concerning the Prokofieff-Tomberg debate. This essay has been retired from the website for personal reasons.
Anthroposophy in the Light of America: - what the American Soul needs from the Anthroposophical Movement. Some notes and recollections of a talk I gave on the shadow side of the Anthroposophical Movement and the Mystery of America.
scenes from the eye of the heart: a meditation on: - Dan Dugan, PLANS, Waldorf Education, and the battle for the future of the soul.
Threshold Problems in Thinking the Threefold Social Order : an essay on my initial investigations on how to "think" the threefold social order - which ultimately lead to an attempt to approach social investigation in a "goethean" manner. Some results of that work - after a few years practice, are part of the next essay. The above was submitted to both the Journal for Anthroposophy and the Threefold Review, in 1992, with no reply (other than an acknowledgment of receipt from the latter).
On the Practice of Communicating the Ideal to the American Soul : an essay on the dis-harmonious relationship between the Central European Soul and the American Soul in anthroposophical work in America, and what might be done about it. Submitted to the Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in America, just recently. Rejected 8/5/97, for being too long, which I suppose means the Newsletter will no longer publish multi part articles.
Guest Essay: Work on what has been spoiled: It is the fall of 1915, and some members of the anthroposophical society are expelled. The problem of "sex" is raised. In this deep and warm essay Catherine MacCoun examines these events and discovers remarkable meaning, for our time, in this unusual event. (This essay became the object of much controversy, because of its views of Rudolf Steiner. The most aggressive critic was offered an opportunity to place his criticism along side the essay on my website, but did not take up this offer. Even so, the reader should realize that some individuals find this essay to contain a very incorrect assessment of Dr. Steiner's character.)
Response to Guest Essay, received in June 2005 - this response, received 7 years after the fact, nonetheless is cogent enough to be added here. Although, nothing written in this response, by John Stirling Walker, is by my placing it here to be seen to have my approval or disapproval.
Outlaw Anthroposophy - the journal: This is the original journal passed out at the Ann Arbor conference in the summer of 1997. Two essays: The Study of Rudolf Steiners Lecture Cycles and the Problem of Cognition: musings on the epistemological swampland of the Anthroposophical Movement; and The Anthroposophical Society: is it a living social form?; as well as, a Readers Poll asking the 25 questions you have always wanted to be asked about the anthroposophical movement. These two essays were later translated into German by Lorenzo Ravagli, at his request, and published in the journal: Jahrbuck fur anthroposophische Kritick 1998.
The Lecture Cycle essay concerns a specific problem, namely whether the reading of a text is knowledge, in the senses of the epistemology (science of knowing) upon which Anthroposophy is founded. My conclusion is that, in general, reading is not "knowledge", from which certain conclusions, about whether Anthroposophy in any way "lives" in Study Groups, follow. The social form essay concerns the obvious, and in concluding that the Society is not "living", explores how that has come to be.
The Mystery of the True White Brother - an interpretation of the meaning of the Hopi Prophecy by a member of the Elder Brother People. In this essay the term "mystery" refers to a sacred rite of initiation, and the term Elder Brother People to that portion of the anthroposophical movement (Michael Movement), which remains true to its Earthly mission as a form of service to humanity. That the Saturn Mysteries in the Americas expected the arrival of the modern Sun Mysteries, of which Rudolf Steiner was but one initiate, is a matter that should raise profound questions within the Anthroposophical Movement and Society regarding its ability (or failure) to remain true to the underlying social mission to which they belong.
some very special links
Tom Last's remarkable website community for exploring The Philosophy of Freedom (Spiritual Activity).
he Global Social Situation at the end of the 20th Century - Emerging of a Threefold Global Society And a Future Social Task for the Anthroposophical Movement; Jesaiah Ben-Aharon
From: The Archive of Stanley Messenger: mystic, philosopher, cereologist and elder - start with Lucifer and Ahriman under the Bed.
Anything by Don Cruse, buy his book if you can - Evolution and the New Gnosis
Steve Talbot's NetFuture zine and site
Below are some essays with a "scientific" orientation, but which are directed at introducing the lay-reader to certain fundamental ideas of Anthroposophy:
The Quiet Suffering of Nature: an essay on the need for the environmental movement to begin to regain communion with the Being of Nature, so as to know, not only what environmentalists want, but what Nature wants, as well.
The Idea of Mind : in the early 1990's I undertook to come to terms with certain ideas then beginning to circulate in the field of neurophysiology concerning the relationship between mind and brain chemistry. Since my own experience as a Christian meditator contradicted the leading ideas, which attributed mind to brain physiology, and nothing more, I wrote this essay as an effort to contribute to the ongoing work in the study of consciousness.
A Matter of Death: a short essay on the question of what is death.
[as I have recently retired and am now living on social security, and even poorer than before, I have decided to ask of those that visit these pages that they consider making a small contribution to my support. There is a great deal of work offered on these pages, that has so far been available for free. This will remain the case. However, it would help the future of this work if small contributions could occasionally appear in my mail box: Joel A. Wendt 128 Lee Dr., Concord, MA 01742.]
[For those anthroposophists who might be reading these pages and want to know my "anthroposophical" background: I have been a member of the Society for over 25 years and of the Class for over 20 years. The first anthroposophist I shared my biography with in any detail said "you were born an anthroposophist". I was part of the circle of co-workers around Carl Stegmann (The Other America) and wrote for his study letter, America in the Threefold World - this was in Sacramento, California, in the early 1980's. I have continued to carry my share of the "America Work" quietly and steadfastly since that time; and, from 1988 to 2004 was an unpaid fellow at the Center for American Studies at Concord (Mass.) - Stuart B. Weeks non-profit organization.]