Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner
22 September 1920, Stuttgart
Dr. Steiner: I would like to say a few words before we go into the individual points of discussion. Now that we are at the beginning of a new school year we need to clarify some things. There has been some discussion of things, including my own position, in relationship to the faculty. Today, I do not want to discuss the external relationship, only the inner. That seems appropriate this evening because you brought up my inner relationship, at least between the lines. In those things connected with our spiritual movement, I feel I am an esoteric among friends and cannot feel I am anything else. Running the Waldorf School is one of these spiritual things, at least to the extent it is a spiritual matter and to the extent the faculty takes up pedagogical questions and belongs to our anthroposophical movement. I need to say some things today about the position of an esoteric and how an esoteric perceives him- or herself, which you will need to apply to the particular case of the Waldorf School.
Someone who brings things from the spiritual world to his or her fellow human beings assumes, of course, that people do not necessarily accept them because of authority, but at least because they feel the things result from scientific research revealing a content that can perhaps be made known only by the person undertaking it. People can understand these things, of course, once they are said, but someone must first say them as a result of his or her own investigation. As you hear such truths, you are not exactly in a relationship to authority, but you somehow recognize that the things said can only arise from such a source.
Much of what I have recently had to say to you may appear simple, but I did not discover it in a simple way. Much of what we can learn about such a special area as pedagogy can become available only by going through a great deal, by experiencing a great deal, which is possible only after many years’ experience with this type of investigating. Understanding it is easy and can occur in a short period, but the investigation itself is not at all so simple and requires a path of initiation. However, when someone tells fellow human beings of such investigation, he or she never does so out of a desire to speak as an authority in the normal sense, that is, as the exoteric world understands authority.
I would ask that you take what I have to say about this very seriously and precisely. You should not accept what I have to say simply upon authority in the normal sense of the word. You see, if you did that, it would have no effect. You would not receive it through the necessary intangible forces. The relationship must be entirely different. The relationship must be one in which you accept everything said through a completely free will. Your acceptance may not in the least depend upon the will of the speaker. Everything must depend upon the will of the listeners. That is as exact a description of the relationship that must exist as is possible in human speech. I tell you things not to place them in the proper light, but because, in our times, we can base the effectiveness of esoteric work upon them.
If in our times we wanted to achieve something through authority, whether it be the authority of suggestion or any of the other numerous ways of affecting the soul, then that would eventually reveal itself as a great mistake. We now exist in the stage of human development when people mature enough to do so put more and more impulses of freedom into the world. Specifically, when we work as teachers we may not under any circumstances accept those things that arise out of the spirit and will move the world forward through an authority forced upon the soul. We must accept everything through goodwill, through the insight of the listener when the listener feels that the person speaking has something to say. No other relationship may exist. If the intent is that the listeners undertake some work based upon those statements, work that people can undertake communally, any other relationship would have a negative effect. If the spiritual researcher is to participate, then the capacity to speak free of authority and to listen through free will must be the basis of the entire relationship.
Nothing else may be the basis of the external relationships. Therefore, my relationship to the faculty must be one, right to the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s, that neither I nor anyone else wants something against the will of any member of the faculty. The entire faculty as a whole must accept and desire it in their hearts. Whether something would pass in an election or not is unimportant. It requires that kind of inner relationship. The moment that is no longer so, the proper relationship would no longer exist. We need to somewhat keep an eye on that relationship.
Groups form in this area, not the way associations form, but more like a gathering around one person who has something to say in the sense that I mentioned. That is, those who want to hear something freely gather around someone. Regardless of what the external world may or may not expect of such a group, what I have said is all that is inwardly acceptable.
You will certainly feel that I want to describe my inner relationship to the faculty in that way, and I would ask that you understand it in that way. All healing forces of the future will be based in this. Specific things also lie in that direction. You need to feel that I have harmonized and do always intend to harmonize my decisions with each of you, that is, what you bring to me for a decision, because those who ask a question do so out of their own insight. If you think this through, you can clearly discern the nature of our esoteric relationship and the positive results of that esoteric relationship.
I wanted to make this our starting point today. You may have already found from your many experiences that things arising out of the spirit proceed properly only when such an understanding of spiritual relationships is their basis. Thus, in an exoteric organization you should separate the things that are simply necessary for the external world from what must lie between us. We can then move forward not only in the most rational manner, but also in the most spiritual work. We will move forward.
I wanted to say this to you now as a kind of inauguration of our work for this year, an inauguration of our work through which I would particularly like spiritual forces to flow. You can be certain that I will continue to pray for a blessing upon your work as a whole and the work of individuals in this coming year from the spiritual powers that carry our entire movement. If you are aware that is the case, if you not only act together, but think together and feel together, and thus receive the good spiritual forces in this thinking together, feeling together into the harmony of the entire soul life, then our work in this year will succeed.
Now we can go on to specific points. Does anyone want to say something about our agenda for today?
A question is asked about the official recognition of the Waldorf School as an elementary school.
Dr. Steiner: This is something that can go in one direction or another and depends upon the goodwill of the educational bureaucracy. We will achieve a certain degree of security about the future existence of the school only if we can negotiate through personal contacts. I wish to state expressly that we should not do this by telephone. If we can work through personal discussions and personal contact with all the possibilities of emphasis that arise in a personal conversation, if we can create an attitude through that, then we will achieve a certain degree of security. We will be unable to avoid being confronted with the same problem in the future if we handle this question in a strictly bureaucratic manner.
For that reason I think it would be best if Mr. Molt could do something personally, if you were personally involved. The situation is such that we will feel secure about the Waldorf School only if you personally speak with those people who have some influence. I am convinced that if an exchange of this sort occurs, and it forces the officials to say something in recognition of the school, that will offer us the best protection. Sending memos back and forth will achieve nothing. Particularly here in Württemberg, we can achieve more than in Prussia. In Prussia, after the final decision, we would have to dismantle this school within a short period of time.
We need to work on the problem in that way. We should not forget that some school principal or a teacher from a normal school will often come along and want to have the Waldorf School pedagogy. They will ask what they can do to help their schools. That is pure nonsense. The first thing they need to do is to free themselves from the state, and that gives rise to such a difficult problem that only a few people can think about it consequentially.
What is important is that what we could call our school movement, namely, a movement for independent schools, gets into more people’s heads so that a genuinely large movement toward educational freedom arises as a part of the Threefold Movement. We can use the opportunity that the excuse about a unified school provides. I must admit that I have always found a concrete definition of a unified school unpleasant, even though we had to use that term. It was unpleasant for me because it emphasized we wanted what the state defines as a unified school, but a unified school was less important than an independent school. That will come about by itself. What the present German government wants as a unified school is actually the opposite. We would be signing on to something terrible if we give in on this question. Somehow we need to feel our way through this. We need to be aware that such things happen in life, but we should realize that they do not arise inwardly — that would be deceptive — but from without, and that we should do them with a certain mental reservation. We should be aware that we need to do things, but not inwardly, to achieve at least the minimum of what we want, and that we will need to speak with people while inwardly tweaking their noses.
Emil Molt: I will do what I can to bring things into order.
A teacher asks about the lessons for the ninth grade.
Dr. Steiner: I will write it down for tomorrow, but we will get farthest if we see it as a continuation of what we have already done. I would, therefore, ask you to provide me with all the information about what you have done and achieved in German and literature.
A teacher: I went through Goethe, Schiller, and Herder, but that was all. I was able to bring into history some discussion of things like Dante’s Divine Comedy, but mostly it was Goethe, Schiller, and Herder. In grammar, we wrote essays and I attempted to work on spelling from the perspective of speech. We did nothing with grammar as such.
Dr. Steiner: Well, what you will need to do in literature is to take care of Jean Paul. In particular, you will need to look at some sections of Aesthetics, or the Schooling of Beauty with the ninth grade — particularly the ones concerning humor. You should not pay too much attention to history. That would be about a semester’s work. Afterward, you would then go on with the students to something very different. They are, after all, fourteen and fifteen years old, and you could read and discuss some of the chapters in Herman Grimm’s lectures on Goethe. That is what you need to do in literature.
In German, I would recommend that you not go too deeply into grammar in the first semester. Discuss the phonetic law, particularly Grimm’s law. In the essays, I would recommend that you handle historical themes. The students should work primarily with the material you gave them last year in history. You will certainly have adequate opportunities to discuss grammar and syntax in connection with corrections. Before you have the children write an essay, though, you should have the children from last year orally discuss the theme for the new children in the class.
Now, what did you do in history?
A teacher: We went up to the Reformation and took Luther’s biography in detail. I then worked with Buckle’s History of Civilization in England, and attempted to use it to shed some light on the present.
Dr. Steiner: I would recommend that you for the time do not go further, but go through it again with a spiritual scientific perspective. Follow that with Lecky’s History of Modern Civilization.
A teacher: I now have a combined eighth–ninth grade class in German.
Dr. Steiner: It would perhaps be best if you precede Herman Grimm with Goethe, so that you could then catch part of the class up with what you already said about Goethe, Schiller, and Herder. That would be good for both classes, and then you could leave Jean Paul for later. You could teach both classes the same history, so that we have only geography left.
A teacher: We mainly did the Ice Age, the movement of land and water and so forth. In general, we focused on the geology of that period.
Dr. Steiner: In connection with all that, I would recommend that you thoroughly examine the Alps, the northern limestone Alps, the southern limestone Alps along with the river valleys that form the boundaries, the mountain ranges — in other words, the different sections. Then something about the landscape and about the geological qualities beginning with the Lake Alps all the way through Switzerland to the Austrian Alps. In this discussion of the Alps, you could also point out that the structure of the Earth forms a kind of cross, and that these mountainous formations represent that. Then continue the Alps toward the Pyrenees and all the way through to the Carpathians, and then go on with the forested mountains right through to the Altaic range, so that you then have an east-west range that continues under the Earth and encloses the Earth like a ring. The Rocky Mountain-Andes Cordillera crosses that at a right angle, forming another ring. You can explain these two rings crossing one another so nicely as the structure of the Earth. Through that the students can get an idea that the Earth has an inner organization. You can do all this, but allow yourself enough time. You do not need to handle everything in geography at once.
Then we have mathematics. You have already taken up equations, haven’t you? How far have you come in exponents? Squaring, cubing, and more general exponents? Have you already cubed binomials and trinomials?
A teacher: There were no difficulties, but there was no reason to do the binomial law, that is, \((a + b)^2\), \((a + b)^3\), \((a + b)^4\).
Dr. Steiner: How do the students do that?
A teacher: I had them multiply them out.
Dr. Steiner: What I mean is, do your students know that \((a + b)^3 = a3\) and so forth? Can they do that? If you have not required that they learn it as a formula, then you have not begun with raising numbers to a power, and you have not had them figure the formula \(3553\) or \(3552\). I would continue in this way by having the children do the cubes for numbers using a formula. Then have them do the square roots and cube roots.
A teacher: I did not think it was important.
Dr. Steiner: In such things, it is not so important that children do things the way they will need them later, but that they practice a particular form of thinking. The form of thinking that they practice in finding the cube or square, or by taking the root of a number, has the peculiarity that it abstracts from the concrete numbers and then puts the numbers together in another way. Such work in the depths of the numerical construct is so formative for thought, that they have to do it.
Then they need more practical computations. I would certainly find it proper if you had children figure things that have a practical content, which is certainly in accord with your intentions. I would say, for instance, that if a watering can is cylindrical or conical, it contains a certain amount of water. How much water is that if the diameter of the base of one can is half that of another one?
I would then go on to approximations so that the children get an idea of that. Begin with a transit and how to find the average value in such practical things as weighing things with a balance scale. You could then continue on with examples in the exchange of money. Then, of course, we need to consider geometry. You should, of course, begin with computing volumes of bodies, and then I would advise you to begin with descriptive geometry.
A teacher describes what he did in physics.
Dr. Steiner: In physics you should try to do two things. In the first case, present acoustics and electricity, to which magnetism also belongs, so that the children can understand the telephone. In the second case, cover heat and mechanics and everything else the children need to understand a locomotive. That is enough for the ninth grade.
A teacher: Last year, we divided geography and I presented something about astronomy.
Dr. Steiner: Of course, in that connection, we should look at the Doppler Effect, that is, the movement of the stars in the line of vision. You did not discuss the movement of stars in the line of vision? You need to include everything the children need in order to understand the movement of the stars in the line of vision. You should work toward that goal.
A teacher: Then you don’t want any optics in physics? Only heat, mechanics, and electricity?
Dr. Steiner: You can add as much of optics as you need to explain the Doppler Effect. Be sure to also include acoustics.
A teacher: Are the conclusions about the movement of stars from shifts in spectral lines justified?
Dr. Steiner: Why not? It is certainly correct to conclude that if you have two spectra and find one line in one position and the same line in a different position in the other one, that has something to do with different distances. That is a proper conclusion.
A teacher: We could conclude that about the Sun.
Dr. Steiner: I would use the Doppler Effect only with double stars; I would not generalize it. You should use it only to show that the stars rotate around each other, since the general assumption is that the stars move cyclically in the direction of vision. Only go that far. Then, we have chemistry. What we already did in the eighth grade, the fundamentals of organic chemistry, what an alcohol is, what an ether is, we should continue in the ninth grade.
Anthropology: Continue with that so that the children gain a proper understanding of anthropology. That should move in concentric circles from grade to grade in such a way that you connect the remaining natural sciences with it.
Mr. Baumann, what do you think about music and singing in the ninth grade?
A teacher: I was unable to accomplish what I wanted because the students had so little previous training in music.
Dr. Steiner: Could you give the music lessons in the eurythmy hall if they do not conflict with eurythmy?
A teacher: There is hardly space for eurythmy.
Dr. Steiner: Then, we will never be able to bring the music instruction into order until we have the large hall. The musical instruction will never be what it should be until we have the large hall.
Two things are important. We should teach music as completely as possible. If we want to prepare the children, we cannot do too much with instruments since hearing poor instruments will ruin their sense of tone. That is an important point. We could certainly do well with the old style of church singing.
A teacher: I want to say something about the majors and minors and about the color of sound in pure tones.
Dr. Steiner: That is the exact material for the ninth grade, and it is certainly something we should strive for under all circumstances. We should look at some things a little theoretically and also give something for the feeling. Major and minor should become a feeling.
A teacher: In deportment class, I went into the differences between men and women. The children seemed interested in that.
Dr. Steiner: I think it would be nice if you connected that with singing and made the connection with male and female voices. Not much has been tried in this direction. It is quite certain that teaching this age child about observed differences between male and female singing voices would counteract the false sexual feelings that are so strong today. That would certainly have a good effect.
It is painful for me that you cannot move forward with the instruments. Playing instruments is something we cannot replace. Regarding private lessons, well, private lessons are private lessons. Here we must remember that, as we understand it, children should take up musical instruments in the general context of education. Private lessons do not help in that regard. It is certainly too bad we cannot do that. I fear it will be a long time before we get to it. A teacher: We have some instruments, but we need rooms, and we really need a teacher.
Dr. Steiner: We already discussed that. Is it only a question of rooms?
A teacher: We have about fifteen instruments. If we had even the chorus room, we could do things like Hayden’s “Children’s Symphony.”
Dr. Steiner: That would be good.
A question is asked about language class.
Dr. Steiner: At that age, I would emphasize recitation. You can learn much about the mastery of language through recitation. The children can gain a sense for idioms through recitation and then learn to apply that to other things. We can continue that in eurythmy and grammar.
In the shop class, I had thought we could cultivate things about art and a feeling for art indirectly. In shop, it is important to have the children do different things and always complete them. I wouldn’t have them make only useful things, but toys also, reasonable toys. I think it would be very nice if the children made little blacksmiths that make each other move alternately. The children will become dexterous. They can also make presents. I would work in that direction.
If we could also do something festive for the children, that is, have them gather moss and make Christmas crèches, so that they make the little sheep and so forth and paint it, they will learn a great deal. Of course, we shouldn’t neglect useful objects. They are particularly happy when they can make something like a ratchet noisemaker, things that are like a little practical joke.
We rattle, we rattle the twelve together.
The bells are coming from Rome.
A teacher: There is still the question of the handwork teacher. I have spoken with Miss S. She is a drawing teacher, but can also teach handwork.
Dr. Steiner: That would be just the thing if someone who was artistic took over the handwork class. We would have to be certain, though, that she is capable of it. She would fit in well.
Under certain circumstances, there is something else we should consider. She does not have one characteristic that another lady has. Miss Hauck is from here and is the daughter of the former professor Guido Hauck, who wrote an article, “Arnold Böcklin’s Realms of the Soul and Goethe’s Faust.” He also wrote “A Technical Explanation of Faust.” Hauck was one of the last. If she could decide to become a handwork teacher, we would have the advantage that she is from Schwabia, something that would be quite good. She has been teaching at a workers’ school, and for that reason I would consider not calling her here, because it would be good if she taught the people there. The workers’ schools say that people don’t need to learn frivolous things like geometry. Only things such as class struggle and preparation for the revolution should be taught. That is one thing, and the other is a recent event, namely, that the technical school has fired her. Perhaps Mr. Strakosch could give an opinion about whether it is necessary for factory mechanics to learn something about geometry. I would ask you to give your own opinion, but I think architecture and mechanical engineering would cease if technical schools no longer teach geometry. Everything would sink into barbarism. In mechanical engineering, you can’t put a peg into a hole. People can’t construct anything like that. This is all pure nonsense.
I think she would be suitable, but I fear that under our present circumstances, she might be too much. She was an assistant at the technical university for many years. We should consider these two women. For personal reasons, Miss S. would prefer not to be asked. Perhaps we could telegraph Miss Hauck tomorrow and ask if she can come.
For the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade independent religious instruction we could move into a freer form and give a theoretical explanation about such things as life before birth and after death, and all the consequences of a life before birth. We could give them examples. We could show them how to look at the major cultural connections and about the mission of the human being on Earth. You need only to look at Goethe or Jean Paul to see it. You can show everywhere that their capacities come from a life before birth.
We could then go on with a good picture that really reaches into the religious if we explained the body of the Laocoön. With the Laocoön the etheric body actually separated; thus, the physical body made such contortions. You can illustrate much through the breaking of the Laocoön’s physical body. You would need a group, but you can lift the discomfort about the dissolution of the human body into the religious.
We have decided about the Sunday services. We need to name somebody to replace Mrs. Koegel in teaching the children. I would ask for suggestions. The person needs to feel called upon to do this. Does someone want to do that? Would you like to do it with Miss Röhrle?
A teacher: A deaf and dumb girl has enrolled.
Dr. Steiner: She cannot come to the Waldorf School.
A class teacher asks about another child who has enrolled.
Dr. Steiner: What is with him? I feel bad about the boy.
A teacher: He is impossible in class.
Dr. Steiner: That may be only a passing thing. When I spoke with him, he certainly seemed as if he could improve. I am also convinced that if you do what I suggested with him, he will improve in half a year. We can certainly not hope he will improve if we completely isolate him. We can’t do that.
A teacher: Then my other children will be shortchanged.
Dr. Steiner: I think it is only temporary. It is probably connected with the fact that he just came into the school. That could certainly have an effect.
A teacher: He was terribly nervous.
Dr. Steiner: The child’s constitution is quite irregular. This is a boy who has something like — well, you can break your arm or leg on your physical body, but you cannot break your head — but this boy has a broken etheric head, and for that reason he is, of course, always nervous. That is more evident with him than with other children, but I think it is only temporary. In any event, we will have to tell the parents that they will need to be patient until we have the remedial class. Have you known him long? Was he always that way? His whole life becomes chaotic with every event. Is he taking any medication? Has he had childhood illnesses? I thought so. You said he had a mental dysfunction. You can counteract that with hypophsis cerebri. Does he have any siblings? There is a disturbance in his growth caused by something the mother had before he was born.
A teacher: She once told me she was half crazy the whole time.
Dr. Steiner: The boy came into this situation through the pregnancy. Then we will work with him and take him into the school as soon as Dr. Schubert’s remedial class begins.
Surely, you have more questions.
The question of Dr. Steiner’s position in the school organization is brought up again.
Dr. Steiner: Defining my position has only opportunistic value. It would have been good if I had been included at the time the faculty was reported to the government. It is important now only because government officials require us to be exact.
A teacher: Perhaps we could send them a complete list and put you at the top.
Dr. Steiner: That always looks strange, because they will compare it with the old lists.
A teacher: We still need to fix it, though.
Dr. Steiner: There isn’t much we can do other than to write and say we forgot it and want to revise the list. “We unfortunately forgot this last time and want to make a revision.” I don’t know of any other way around this. It certainly would look funny if we did nothing, or if we made a new list.
A question is asked regarding the opponents of anthroposophy.
Dr. Steiner: These rumors are always coming up. You see it everywhere in Switzerland. We are now trying to trace all the different variations of these despicable things with the goal of wiping away all traces of their machinations, and of their being able to say that I had done something with Anthroposophy and turned things around. These people spread teachings they say are mine and then they wipe away their tracks.
Is there anything else?
A teacher asks about the World School Association, which is to be situated in Dornach, but work in Germany. If a German section were to be founded now, then everything could be brought into order during the courses in Dornach.
Dr. Steiner: Don’t we need a World School Association before we can form a German section? Now the path toward a World School Association must begin from an international center.
We could center the World School Association in Dornach, but we do not need to begin it there. Before, we had a particular presentation that sharply emphasized that we still have only a small school, but we cannot grow since we must turn away many children. We can no longer say that, so we must now begin the World School Association differently. Of course, if we have a large number of visitors in Dornach, we could begin by creating a good attitude. I don’t think it should begin here, because we can no longer say there are a hundred children waiting at the gates of the school.
We now need to begin it differently. We could work in Dornach, but I had also thought we could begin in a more international place, The Hague, for instance. We still have reason to believe we can do something for our movement, but we would ruin everything if we founded the World School Association here. We can do all kinds of things for the Waldorf School. There is such a positive attitude here, but we may not found the Association here. At the time I had thought we could begin an energetic campaign, but I would now favor a foundation arising in London. That, however, is not yet achievable. Apart from that, I still hope that other things will move more quickly.
[Editor’s note: The remaining notes of this meeting are very erratic and uncertain, as to both the content and the speaker. Possible missing parts are indicated by an ellipsis.]
Dr. Steiner: I had thought before that I would have to do that with the World School Association. We have a number of anthroposophists in The Hague.
A teacher: I think they are all mixed up.
A teacher: You cannot depend upon H. He will never say he is an anthroposophist.
Dr. Steiner: If I were to go to The Hague, H. would certainly help. A teacher: As long as you are there!
Dr. Steiner: It doesn’t need to be more … it is enough if he can do one thing, and if he prepares the way.
A teacher: He blocks the way. He has hidden the fact that there is a Goetheanum. The students were surprised when they heard that it exists, although they were brought to Switzerland under H.’s guidance.
Dr. Steiner: That’s how people are, but you cannot move forward if you do not take people as they are.…
In addition to The Hague, Zurich and Geneva also came under discussion.
A teacher: Don’t we have to do some preparation here? We should think about the names of the individual schools. We do not see your goals.
Dr. Steiner: I do not believe it is particularly urgent to find names for the individual schools. What kind of conditions do you want to create from here?
A teacher: I am not really certain we have thought of everything.
Dr. Steiner: In the end, what is important is that you master the situation at the proper moment, and that is today. I already mentioned that. If we could provide our movement with such basic principles, we would get somewhere. We need to comprehend the world situation.
We must use things as they come. You see, for example, we started the publishing company here, but it has done little until now. However, two books appeared, Dr. Stein and the one by Polzer. These were only beginning works, but in large editions. We sold both books in only a few weeks. Someone said today that the book against Traub also sold out. People are just sleepy there. The movement would move forward if people would just move with the stream. As such, the stream is already there, but no one is swimming in it. We can certainly say that the current is there, but no one is swimming in it. You can see that from the fact that my public lectures are always well attended. It is certainly true that movement is there, but no one thinks about the fact that there is such movement.
In reality — the things I have to say are confidential, but I need to make a remark — the leadership of The Coming Day does not realize there is a threefold movement. That is not something that we need to advertise. We need only to know that a sleepiness exists. Many things begin and then stop. If I am to give everyone an individual task, then I can say only that everything can happen. Then our meetings should definitely not last until three in the morning. You will find the least amount of support in Berlin. There is no interest there. But even in Berlin, we could accomplish something if I could be there for a week. I cannot do it in three days. In Berlin, people don’t see beyond the walls of their own city.
A teacher: When could we do something in The Hague?
Dr. Steiner: When I see there is some interest, we can begin to think about doing something in that connection in Dornach. A teacher: Then we will have to decide how we can generate some interest.
Dr. Steiner: Yes, you see we have to learn how to generate interest in a more noble sense. If you look at the Haaß-Berkow Group with all their noise, you can see they certainly have a knack for creating interest. It must be possible, for example, when people come from outside, to have other titles for our presentations. It is important that we create interest, but we do not need to do it in a negative way. It is important to generate interest rather than simply discuss how. When so many people gather in one place, there is much we can do from person to person.
For the purposes of founding the World School Association, it is important to generate the proper interest. Suppose you can get fifty people to believe we should found such a World School Association. If the people from Dornach then travel and work in the proper way, that would mean that three weeks later, five hundred, and six weeks later, five thousand, would believe we should found a World School Association. You need to have the guts to create such an opinion in a number of people.
A teacher: Could the Waldorf teachers work in that way following the lectures?
Dr. Steiner: Of course, you can do that, but creating the opinion would have to move in parallel. Why is it that an esprit de corps, in the best sense of the word, never arises in something like the Anthroposophical Society?
Several teachers attempt to answer that question.
Dr. Steiner: As long as we were simply the Anthroposophical Society, all that was not important. We did not need money. Now, we have the misfortune that we do need it. It is not that we are greedy, but somehow we must support the movement. We can accomplish that only by generating interest. Now, this is very painful for me, many people who should be doing something have a certain kind of inner opposition. They do not do what I think is right, but something else. They have considerable resistance. That is common in our time, as though we could work out of the spirit and need no money. If you need money, you have to do something. It does not have to be unidealistic, but you must do something. I believe there is much more opposition than you might suppose, an inner opposition. Thus, there is a resistance. There is a sleepiness, a formation of cliques. It would be good if we could develop an esprit de corps.
We cannot form a section of something that does not yet exist.
A teacher: Well, the impetus must arise somewhere.
Dr. Steiner: It must come from a more extended group.
A teacher: Perhaps we could approach the representatives of the local school movements and warm them to the idea of the World School Association. For example, Principal B. in Br.
Dr. Steiner: It is not our concern to publicize the name of the World School Association, but to put such an organization into the world. B. is interested enough. The moment we have the World School Association, he will join and be active. For B. in Br., that means nothing more than another opportunity for more freeloading. It is unimportant whether you go around and gather money as the Waldorf faculty or as the World School Association. That is only a new name for the same thing. We need to create a real organization, an organization in itself.
A teacher: We need to make use of the time of the Dornach course.
Dr. Steiner: We will have to get those people to carry the thoughts of political agitation. We cannot get much from them directly, they are just poor wretches who would rather receive something. We certainly have such people. What is important is that these people carry the thoughts and spread them. We will have to keep those agitators warm. If we inaugurate something in The Hague — it does not need to be an association, we only need to begin political agitation — if we can begin to do that in The Hague, we should not forget that there is also a strong interest in doing something to help Central Europe. People already want that. If we can find the right tone, something will happen. We will need to try to articulate the feelings that exist so they go in the right direction. The perspective already exists, and that is something we could achieve. We could soon achieve something if the souls would awaken. You are already awake enough. It would be good if you could send forth something clever from Dornach with the same strength.
It would be better if the beggars and hoboes did not form the association as something to combat poverty, but that people who have something in their pockets do it.
There is some discussion concerning the course to be held in Stuttgart in the coming winter, and there are reports about what the teachers intend to present.
Dr. Steiner: There has been much talk, but we must do something. My only desire is that you do not offer college level lectures that then fall flat. That would be terrible. I would say something about Anthroposophy and philosophy.
A teacher: We had considered giving lectures each semester.
Dr. Steiner: We could group the subjects differently. I wouldn’t do it in the old way. I would group them more objectively. Mr. von Baravalle, you can certainly take care of Einstein’s theories and quantum theory.
A teacher: I think we can present it more easily to the students. The people here will certainly understand it.
Dr. Steiner: I think the ideas of projective geometry are very promising. I agree with what you have presented as a program. The people will certainly have a very different kind of picture when, aside from being able to determine an ellipse from an equation, they can comprehend the creation of an ellipse from a bundle of rays. That is quite a lot.
Perhaps it would be interesting to first give, for example, the basic concepts of analytical geometry and then those of projective geometry. You could then handle conical sections analytically and projectively. Now, there is usually a course for analytical geometry and then one for projective. It would be very interesting to teach the whole theory of conical sections analytically and projectively.
I think we need to close for today. I would certainly advise you to consider the courses in Dornach. Bring your plans with you. In Dornach, our direction is more toward people, but students want to have it more toward subjects. We could certainly specialize things. Dr. Schubert, there is certainly not much research about the soul of language.
I hope that our working together will develop more in the way I mentioned at the beginning today.