Friday, 3 September 2021

To Despair is Wrong

Rudolf Steiner

To despair because one cannot think that enough people will be found, even in the turmoil of today, capable of receiving such ideas, provided only sufficient energy be supplied to spreading them, this would be to believe human nature hopelessly insensible to healthy and reasonable influences.

Is it hopeless? This is not a question that ought to be asked at all. One should only ask what we ought to do, in order to make the exposition of these ideas as forcible as possible, so that they may awake confidence.”

John Ruskin – on human nature

Thinking it high, I have always found it higher than I thought it, while those who think it low, find it, and will find it, lower than they thought it: the truth being that it is infinite, and capable of infinite height and infinite fall, but the nature of it, - and here is the faith I would have you hold with me, - is in the nobleness, and not in the catastrophe.”

Johann Fercher von Steinwand – “Johannisfeuer” – The power of ideas

Ideas are actually existing, that is, living beings or spirits, but because they are without earthly admixture, our human powers of conception have no idea of their form. On the other hand, in these ideas, as in everything spiritual, is the longing, or the will, to take on outline and body. They appear one after the other in the world, and clothe themselves in our matter, and alas: at the same time also, in our shortcomings and our faults.”

The above quotations were handwritten in a well-thumbed copy of Rudolf Steiner’s book The Threefold Commonwealth, first published in English in 1920. In The Control and Distribution of Production, published in 1922, Clifford Hugh Douglas, the originator of Social Credit, quoted from the Steiner book and recommended it to the English-speaking world. The work of Joseph Beuys, Michael Ende and other cult figures was inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s work. Douglas, Ruskin and other Guild Socialists were household names, their writings being widely studied and discussed at public meetings throughout the country.

Today, discussion of the teachings of Steiner is virtually completely confined to Anthroposophical circles, whilst study of Guild Socialism and Social Credit is eliminated from academia. In the absence of any focussed discussion in the popular press and media on this valuable legacy of twentieth century scholarship, socially concerned authors scurry around making individual observations about the ‘elephant’ which their eyes are not trained to see as a whole (a reference to John Godfrey Saxe’s poem “The Blind Men and the Elephant. The result is that the power of money remains supreme. We seem to have no choice but to spend our daily lives as producers and consumers under the domination of the money economy. Is there any alternative? How can we move from despair to an awakened consciousness of practical, workable alternatives to an endless round of driving the ambulances to help the casualties of a world economy run entirely on money values?

COMMENT: Since 2013 the above piece has been circulated in various forms. It is so relevant to the present times.


No comments:

Post a Comment