Sunday, February 21, 2021

Rudolf Steiner on Christianity, Platonism, and Goethe

So we live in abstractions, and these abstractions block us from Final Participation.

In this reading of Steiner's opening chapters of Goethe's Worldview Steiner investigates the question as to how the Idea relates to Nature independent of man's being. He shows this question to be an abstraction, an "artificial concept". He traces the development of this concept through Western thought from Plato through Christianity to modern philosophy, and designates Goethe as someone who instinctively avoided falling into this abstraction. 

Owen Barfield claims that "we will never save souls unless we also save the appearances". I believe Steiner here provides the meat behind this statement of Barfield's


 
 
 
Apologies for my mispronunciation of "Zenophanes". Also, that "impenetrable" sentence at 13 mins should read: "Of them alone [i.e. the ideal forms], therefore, is there ACTUAL knowledge, since only THAT can be the object of such knowledge which always and in every respect IS, NOT THAT [i.e. the instantiations of the forms] which is, but then again is not, depending on how one looks at it." (Thank you Tom Bayley for this interpretation) 

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