Sunday, November 04, 2007

Anthroposophy- not a Dogmatic Religion.

The Anthroposophical Society should not be a dogmatic religion. Rudolf Steiner once said that if he returned and found that the Anthroposophical Society had become a dogmatic religion he would be its "bitterest enemy". I think the word "dogmatic" is the properly pejorative one, not religion.

Some characterize anthroposophy as a religion and it can hardly be argued against, because these days anything even vaguely spiritual (or not) can be registered as such. But it should never become a dogmatic religion. There must always be a freedom of thought- this is what can be emphasized to any critics.   

From the original statutes: 

The purpose of the Anthroposophical Society will be the furtherance of spiritual research; that of the School of Spiritual Science will be this research itself. A dogmatic stand in any field whatsoever is to be excluded from the Anthroposophical Society.

There is one major difference between anthroposophy and religion, and that is one has to be prepared in one's Budhi/Manas capabilities in order for it to be understood properly. Therefore proselytizing is out of the question - same with theosophy.

Of course, our brothers and sisters will hold to their various dogmas; and this is not much of a problem as long as we uphold a spirit of brotherhood and tolerance - that, and the knowledge that our individual dogmas are only "place holders" on our journey towards ever more clarity.
What is in a word?...everything and nothing. I read once that Dr. Steiner wouldn't have minded if the name of the society changed every week or two. The name is not so important- it's the substance behind that name.

“I have often been asked by people whether they would be able to join the Anthroposophical Society as they could not yet profess to the prescriptions of anthroposophy. I respond that it would be a sad state of affairs if a society in today’s context recruited members only from among those who profess what is prescribed here. That would be terrible. I always say that honest membership should involve only one thing: an interest in a society which in general terms seeks the path to the spiritual world. How that is done in specific terms is then the business of those who are members of the society, with individual contributions from all of them.

"I can understand very well why someone would not want to be a member of a society in which he had to subscribe to certain articles of faith. But if one says that anyone can be a member of this Society who has an interest in the cultivation of the spiritual life, then those who have such an interest will come.”

Rudolf Steiner, 1923
The Anthroposophic Movement

1 comment:

Spondalux said...

Yeah! I totally agree with this conception of Anthroposophy as a collective of free thinkers who base their creative spiritual thought in the spiritual science of RS. Too often in certain forums it seems that if the Doctor said it everyone must agree.