Friday, 10 September 2021

Creative Listening Introduced

Many major issues of today demand our full attention. These include matters of health, mothering, education, food and farming (from agribusiness to biodynamic agriculture), anthroposophy, Goethean science, law, economics, politics, gardening, healing therapies, mass media, journalism, genetic engineering, biotechnology, and so on. As individuals we may take a lively interest in the research, writings and findings of the dedicated specialists in all these subjects whose work comes to us in a variety of different forms over the electronic media. The array of material to hand is awesome. But, in the absence of local platforms for debate, it is virtually impossible to test out our thoughts with others of different minds. Free and open discussion is, and always has been, the only antidote to authoritarianism.

Take, for example, the whole Covid vaccer/anti-vaxxer debate. The journalists at UK Column News gave their support to Doctors for Covid Ethics Symposium, and made it available to the world at large. Yet there are many who have broken off relationships with friends and family members because one recommended viewing the presentations, but the other did not like what they heard. In those instances, it would be more accurate to say the anti-Doctors for Covid Ethics individuals did not like what they thought they had heard. Which is a very different thing. In my view, the road to social disaster is paved with self-induced ignorance about what the other side are actually saying.

Hence, I would suggest, it is well worth study reading Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down. The task is to decide whether we agree or disagree with the title. And if so why? And if not, why not? And where does that take us?

I have settled on this particular text because it is good and very well written. Also because politics and economics are my areas of expertise, and as a researcher, author, teacher and activist. Moreover, all the other topics we are covering are constrained within the boundaries of the Threefold Social Order, as set out by Rudolf Steiner in The Threefold Commonwealth (now available as Towards Social Renewal). What you can learn in the cultural sphere, what legal rights you have within the political sphere, and how you operate as producer and consumer in the economic sphere are questions determined within a man-made social order that is presently beyond the comprehension or control of humanity.

I knew John Papworth and others of his circle, and worked on ideals we had in common. Recently, a small pamphlet by Rachel Pinney entitled Creative Listening, drew my attention. It was the root of a series of conferences, extending over a period of 14 years, in which a great deal of creative listening was undertaken. The task is to build on that experience.

For the time being, I'm posting up Blogs based upon the text of Why School of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down, My hope is that individual areas of research and concern can be discussed within that framework, giving rise to practical actions based upon sound theory and research. The task is to work together, not to pick each other to pieces, according praise and blame as the mood takes us.

Hence the trick is to make yourself think that the opposite of your own view just might be true, and, for a while, to adopt it as your own. You will then be able to lay the two views side by side in the quest for commonality.

NOTE: The Creative Listening booklet is now available for free download (as is Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down) on the SOCIAL ART page of

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