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Update: February 7th, 2012

Dedicated to the Spirit of Franz Brentano (1838-1917)

Franz Brentano (1838-1917)

Franz Brentano

“Those who knew Franz Brentano, even if only through his work, saw him as representing modern man, struggling with the riddle of the universe … he was first and foremost a thinker, one who did not allow his thinking to wander at random … Franz Brentano himself estimated that his work on psychology would fill five volumes, but only the first volume was published. It is fully understandable to someone who knew him well why no subsequent volumes appeared … In order to find answers to the questions facing him after the completion of the first volume of Psychology he needed spiritual knowledge. But spiritual science he could not accept and, as he was above all an honest man, he abandoned writing the subsequent volumes. The venture came to a full stop and thus remains a fragment.” — Rudolf Steiner, from Aspects of Human Evolution, Lecture Five, 1917.

Now I See… Update, April 2013

In addition to the guidelines in the Introduction (below) for appropriate books to review for the Now I See… bLog, recent trends in the selection of books are pointing to new non-fiction categories that will be sure to be of interest to reviewers and readers alike:

Books by authors whose keys of discovery are drawn from Anthroposophy, both recently published books, or “classics,” such as the books of Emil Bock.

Books in the category of spirituality, independent of Anthroposophy yet in relative harmony with it, e.g., books about Edgar Cayce and his work.

Books that describe the spiritual or clairvoyant experiences of the authors, experiences out of full and striving consciousness and as measured by the high standards established within spiritual science, or those that occur unexpectedly or in crises, such as the near-death experience. Examples of such books would be The Pendle Zodiac by Thomas Sharpe, and To Heaven and Back by Mary C. Neal, M.D.

Introduction

Now I See … is a page and an opportunity for Anthroposophists to present reviews of non-anthroposophical books in such categories as non-fiction, scholastic or academic, history, science, biography, autobiography, and the paranormal.  The books do not need to be current or recently published, and most should raise the disturbing question as to why Rudolf Steiner’s name — or Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science — is not included in the index and in the contents, and when the absence of these resources or answers is felt to be something of an acute or tragic loss, or at the very least as a serious omission. Another kind of book appropriate for review will be of interest to Anthroposophists due to its timely and relevant subject (such as Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a WWII Fighter Pilot, by Bruce and Andrea Leininger, about their son, James Leininger).

The reviews submitted should not be critical, but should be written with a thoughtful, deeply questioning and sympathetic point of view, similar to Rudolf Steiner’s quotation about the work of Franz Brentano, above.

  1. November 19th, 2012 at 17:38
    Reply | Quote | #1

    The second sentence in the intro makes no sense to me and is too long anyway…

  2. November 20th, 2012 at 10:48
    Reply | Quote | #2

    I think if you read the reviews carefully, and then take note of the recommended lectures by Rudolf Steiner at the end of many of the reviews (but not at the end of all of them because anthroposophical references will not always be appropriate), then you will understand the second sentence in the introduction. Also, you might consider carefully reading the books that are reviewed, as well as other books in the categories listed on this site – biography, history, paranormal, psychology, science, etc. – and you might then really begin to notice the absence of references to the work of Rudolf Steiner. After reading many of these books, a long sentence will be a piece of cake.

  3. November 20th, 2012 at 13:13
    Reply | Quote | #3

    The first part of the sentence “The books do not need to be current or recently published, and most should raise the disturbing question as to why Rudolf Steiner’s name — or Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science — is not included in the index and in the contents,” has to do, among other things, and in short, with the tragic fact that the one who was personally asked by Rudolf Steiner to present and defend anthroposophy in philosophical terms, namely Herbert Witzenmann,with whom I studied and worked for many years, was “booted out” of the Society in connection with the so-called book question, which meant that he had to establish a new infrastructure from scratch to continue speaking and writing books, some of which I have translated and presented, also in America, (with hardly any support form the Society in Dornach and Holland) into Dutch and English, and which can be read on my blogs, such as http:just-price.blogspot.com and http://power-to-the-virtues.blogspot.com
    In connection with the work of Carl Unger, Rudolf Steiner wrote in his Essay “Philosophy and Anthroposophy” that anthroposophy could only be furthered in the world on the basis of a thoroughly developed technique of thinking. But also he encountered difficulties: he was murdered.
    The circumstance that other creative spirits such as Valentin Tomberg, who I consider possibly the one that Rudolf Steiner envisaged as his successor (he spoke on the eve of the Christmas Foundation to the would-be members of the Council in a little-known Esoteric Lecture about a sixth Council member with which he meant, according to Willy Seiss, none other than Valentin Tomberg), but whose offer to come and work at the Goetheanum in the thirties of the last century was rejected by Marie Steiner, and the Swiss anthroposophist and Grail researcher Werner Greub, whom I also knew and whose major work “How The Grail Sites Were Found” I’ve translated (see Grail Sites at http://www.willehalm.nl), that all these creative spirits were turned down and prevented from working within the spiritual confines of the Society, have contributed to the sad but true fact that anthroposophy is not considered by many academics as a scientific discipline. (Sorry for the long sentence.) Another contributing factor is of course the many active proselytes in the School of Ahriman, the direct counterpart to the School of Michael.
    The second part of the second sentence “and when the absence of these resources or answers is felt to be something of an acute or tragic loss, or at the very least as a serious omission.” is conceptually connected to the first part of the sentence, but seems to me to be grammatically incorrect and thus in need of revision.
    The best or most noble attitude to take to these books that fail to mention anthroposophy is not to bemoan that fact, but to try, like Rudolf Steiner did in his immanent criticism of his contemporaries, whether it was Marx, Nietzsche, Adam Smith of Hegel, to point out their errors or omissions and supplement them thereby, as it were, to redeem them. For that we need a real Free School of Spiritual Science in which the member authors do not criticize each other in the open, in public, but submit their manuscripts to their peers for brotherly suggestions and only then bring them out into the open. This is something that e.g. Werner Greub tried to do, but it was misused by one of his critics Christoph Lindenberg (see my appendix in “How the Grail Sites Were Found”, in his second volume of his Grail trilogy “Vom Parzival zu Rudolf Steiners Wissenschaft vom Gral” [From Parzival to Rudolf Steiner’s Science of the Grail] published after his death by his son, he even coined the term “Grail War” to describe what went on behind the scenes at the Goetheanum).
    Now you have e.g a second edition of the book by Johannes Kiersch on the History of the Free School, in which again there is hardly any mention of the writings by Witzenmann of the concept and reality of a Free School or the unsolved problem of the book-question, no mention at all of Valentin Tomberg and this lecture by Rudolf Steiner on the eve of the Christmas Foundation, which is conveniently considered to be not authentic, but which the director of the literary estate of Valentin Tomberg, Willy Seiss in Southern Germany has pointed out in his booklet “Der Verlust de Allgemeinen Anthroposophische Gesellschaft” (The Loss of the General Anthroposophical Society), written together with Harald Giersch, is definitely no fraud. It is an extremely important document for the history of the Free School because, as Willy Seiss, has commented, he shows that the spiritual pre-conditions that the would-be members of the council had to live up to for the successful launching and subsequent development of this new mystery school were not lived up to, all of the five present failed the test, and the one referred to by Rudolf Steiner: Valentin Tomberg?
    This is not to say that the Christmas Foundation failed all together, as Herbert Witzenmann has written on the Christmas Foundation as the establisment of a new principle of civilization he called Social Organics, the question is not whether it failed or not, but that it took place to begin with. And that by penetrating to its archetype structure and meaning, we can establish on our own power a living reproduction of it everywhere and anytime. This should have been and still is the task of the national societies, who should reconstitute themselves on the basis of this charter of humanity, which is what the principles, originally called statutes, of the Anthroposophical Society are (see http://charter-of-humanity.blogspot.com)
    In response to a letter by colleague Mees Meeussen from The Hague in “Das Goetheanum” in Dornach, printed on November 3, in which there was a reference to the Society as an Alloy King (a reference to the fairy tale by Goethe, meaning that in the constitution of the Society there is an unhealthy mixture of the spiritual and the earthly), I’ve written a letter to the editor entitled “The General Anthroposophical Society as an Alloy King – Why I Am Not Inclined to Serve This Alloy King Any Longer”, a free translation of an article I placed on the closed website of the Social Science Section here in Holland. If I do not get an answer soon, if it will be published, I will publish it myself on my German blog and possibly also in an English translation.

  4. November 20th, 2012 at 13:35
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Very interesting, Robert! I do find some of your sentences a bit long, though!

  5. November 20th, 2012 at 14:30
    Reply | Quote | #5

    I took you for a petulant teenager, based on your first comment. Do forgive me that!…
    Also please forgive the fact that it is not possible for me to respond to comments so lengthy and complex – I simply don’t have the time or energy, what with lists of things waiting to be done. Bemoaning the Society and its many transgressions and failures, past and present, isn’t going to get my own work done, e.g., more book reviews and many other responsibilities; I doubt it will help anyone’s work. The comments section really is intended for the book reviews themselves, or for the authors, so I’m not sure such lengthy comments are even appropriate. Someone else, however, may want to add some thoughts to your own. Thank you for letting us know about your work.

  6. November 20th, 2012 at 15:40
    Reply | Quote | #6

    I’ve apologized for the long sentences; I wanted to indicate why Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy are suppressed and not given a fair chance in the main stream press. As far as book review are concerned, I could enter a few reviews of the non-anthroposophical books that I’ve published. Here are some blogs in case anyone wishes to look at or better review them (I could send them PDF versions):
    1. Operation Twins (see books by Slobodan Mitric on http://www.willehalm.nl)
    2. 911:The Accusation – Bringing the Guilty to Justice (http:911-the accusation.blogspot.com) Available through Amazon
    3. The Golden Tip – The Entanglement of the Upper and Underworld and the Murder of Gerrit Jan Heijn” (http://thegoldentip.blogspot.com/) Rudolf Steiner and the Goetheanum are part of the Who’s who of this book.
    4. Help! They’ve Kidnapped Me! Lady Di (http://help-lady-di.blogspot.com/)
    I’ve also published recently a book by the same author on the real background to the murder of Dutch Filmmaker Theo van Gogh entitled “Dead End Street”, which has not yet been translated into English. I read three chapters of it in front of the monument “The Scream” dedicated to Van Gogh in a park in Amsterdam on November 2 last, the eight anniversary of his murder on the straat of Amsterdam by a Muslim fundamentalist. I have transcribed it and the film will be on YouTube soon. These three chapters and more can be read on http://dead-end-str.blogspot.com
    Hope this fits into the

  7. November 21st, 2012 at 06:44
    Reply | Quote | #7

    Dear Robert, I did look over some of the sites and books you’ve referred, but I believe it will be better for the aims of the Now I See… page or bLog to review books in the categories noted on “About this site,” books that find their way into libraries and become well-known. There may be some remarkable exceptions though. I read much of your response to the Christoph Lindenberg Review, “Beyond Truth and Reality, Two Misleading Books for Grail Seekers,” and find Lindenberg’s statement offensive: “Whoever proceeds in the way that Greub does, cannot expect to be granted the status of a scientist or intellectual integrity.” No good will ever come out of one anthroposophist attacking another anthroposophist in a publication; to disagree or stress areas of serious disagreement is one thing, but to openly attack in print, or in any other way… Only unending troubles will ever come out of this.

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