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The alchemist of the everyday: Rudolf Steiner


D. Huschke: Portrait of Rudolf Steiner (1906)

I decided that I want to shock you a little, those who know me well and even more those who know me badly and who may have missed a few pieces of my training on the street. I want to shock you by evading the prison of materialism in which I found myself and in which many would have hoped would remain good good. And even if materialism is in fashion and immediately makes it seem very intellectual, it was close to me. Very tight.

Recently, at the presentation of my friend Chiara Ceci’s book on the life of Emma Wedgwood Darwin, I was publicly addressed by a former university professor because I study the work of Rudolf Steiner. They told me more or less like this:

“Everything is fine. But Steiner no. We must eliminate it. “


“But do you know the shit he wrote? I have a book about evolution and there are only bullshit written. “

But in which book?

“In what I have at home!”

Evidently it is none of those I have at home. Eh, yes, unfortunately that’s the way things are in our universities. At the entrance they should write it in clearly visible characters “Forbidden to think”. It would be more sincere.

Rudolf Steiner: "Dio è in me – Io sono in Dio" (1924)

Rudolf Steiner: “God is in me – I am in God” (1924)

Ironically, what I saw there was precisely one of the paradoxes between the inner and the outer world that I learned from Steiner: when dilemmas are solved deep within the soul, those same dilemmas come back to that soul from outside, into other people, attracted from the mirage of the resolution to those same dilemmas from which they are afflicted. These souls in pain, try to get from the resolution from outside, but not being able to find that within them, they attack.

In short, a real censorship. Perhaps due to lack of imagination. The first academic censorship imposed on me by an evolutionist. Too bad I had been studying Steiner for several years before meeting the professor in question. And a pity, because Steiner was an evolutionist. But one in the round, without compromise: not only was the physical world evolving, but also the soul and the spiritual world.

It is incalculable how much is lost if only part of the knowledge is excluded! Whether it concerns a person or the world.

The purpose of knowledge is in fact to add meaning, connecting all that the human being has been, is or can be or what in time transforms its meaning from the past to the future, passing through the present. A “knowledge” that subtracts meanings to existence is actually ignorance. For this reason, if we exclude from the knowledge one of the parts of the human being, be it the body, the soul or the spirit, we lose a fundamental part to understand the whole.

This, in essence, is the message of the daily alchemist: Rudolf Steiner.

“The alchemy of the everyday” is precisely the title of the international exhibition organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, near Basel and which will be hosted from 9 February to 2 June 2013 at the MART in Rovereto (Trento) in its second stage. Following the link you will find the program.

Below, an interview of Repubblica with Stefano Gasperi, president of the Anthroposophical Society in Italy.

Philosopher, scientist, scholar of Goethe, friend of Haeckel wanted to go beyond the limit that materialism already imposed at the turn of the IX century. Natural science, more and more obsessively based on the rigorous exclusion of all that was sentiment from scientific discourse, has distorted itself by gradually losing its soul.

But this happened because materialism possessed the methodological and epistemological tools to understand the physical world and not the soul or spiritual one. Not excluding the soul and spirit of the human being, only because it is impossible to understand and study with the rules of the body, Steiner was able not only to be ahead of his age but even ahead of our age and subsequent ones.

Instead of analysis alone, Steiner then proceeded to synthesis. Solve et coagula. To do everything one had understood that it was not only necessary to know more and more, but also to unlearn what conditions us from the past, to leave behind parts of our identity that do nothing but lead into blind alleys.

A degrowth included in its essence of harmony between the external world and the inner world of the human being, therefore. Thus he succeeded in bringing new impulses into any sphere of human knowledge: be it living organic architecture, biodynamic agriculture, the visible language of eurythmy, anthroposophical medicine, or even anthroposophy, which in the words of Steiner is:

“A path of knowledge that would lead the spiritual that is in man to the spiritual that is in the universe.”

Pseudoscience, you say? Perhaps by perjury on the razor of occam, or on the principle of counterfeitability of Popper, but without having really observed and put into practice what anthroposophy has to teach. Natural science lies to itself when it states that the test bench is in the laboratory, since the test bench is the observation out there, in the world of phenomena (on the other hand, exactly where, returning to evolutionary theory, Darwin had gathered his observations on descent with modifications).

And speaking of the effect of anthroposophy in the world, “The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner” is the title of a long and complete documentary on the application of Steiner’s work in everyday life. From English gardens to the great cultivation of California wines, from German schools to the roads of the new India, every idea of Steiner finds its context and its evolution. Many of us may not know it, but they use products, be they Fattoria Scaldasole’s yogurts, biodynamic wines or Weleda’s creams and Demeter food products, all ecological products of the highest qualitative, ethical and industrial profile, which belong to the very philosophy of this great misunderstood genius and show that another way of making present society is not only possible, but also desirable (here the site of the Anthroposophical Society in Italy).

Now I’d like someone else to be shocked by Rudolf Steiner. That would rejuvenate a little, smoothing out such sharp ideas that they can’t be handled, dabbing those so caustic that they can’t be contained. Perhaps some very certain professor of his convictions.

Because I’m happy to have been scandalized years ago by Rudolf Steiner’s knowledge. I am happy to have added meaning to my knowledge. Happy now to have escaped that prison. I am happy that I am no longer a materialist. Now I’m free to create something I didn’t even believe existed before. Free from that cage.

Thanks Rudolf Steiner.

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