Realizations about Rudolf Steiner's Waldorf approach to education
Rudolf Steiner was a 20th century Austrian philosopher and reformer. He had a deeply philosophical mind, an urge to help people in all possible ways and he also had clairvoyant perception or the ability to see the spiritual worlds.
The following post involves a discussion on Waldorf education and some knowledge about this approach to understand what is being shared.
Much of what Steiner talked about in his educational approach is equivalent to worshipping Creation without recognizing the Creator behind it.
For example, Steiner says "If a child plays with materials that are not natural (like plastic), then his imagination will be stifled and he will find it difficult to express himself creatively in the world." That is, he says if X happens, Y will be the result.
This is perfectly correct if you look at Creation alone. Not at all correct if you figure in the Creator - the Supreme Being behind Creation!
That, to me, is the missing piece in Steiner education. The latter is scholarly, wise, intuitive - yes. But there's NO talk of God's grace and your effort that can help you overcome every limitation, overcome any kind of childhood.
God can change anything, anyone, give someone an ability they didn't have before, take away weakness and sorrow and so much more! He is the Brahman that's vibrating throughout the Universe! What can He not do?
I haven't heard or come across Steiner speak about this aspect at all. Therefore, I presume his own clairvoyance was limited. Or if he knew this, he didn't extend it and apply it - by giving a disclaimer that God can heal anything - while proffering his strict views on how children should be taught.
Of course, Steiner's philosophy has a place in the world and is perhaps very good especially in the realm of educating children. But it is not the be-all and the end-all. The Creator is. When we seek Him, we have everything.
This is balance I so yearned for when I was at a Waldorf teacher's training program in New Zealand. This is the missing piece I was searching for. This missing piece was knowledge and wisdom that came slowly and painfully. Voices of reason tried to help me, but I kept asking "how, how? But Steiner says this, he says that...."
Just because Steiner was right about certain things in the world, I put him on a pedestal, as if all he said was true and there was nothing beyond it. The painful and shocking part was taking him off that pedestal.
Realizing that the Creator is beyond Steiner, above and beyond Steiner's views and perceptions on education and child upbringing and if I tune into that Creator, anything can be healed, myself included.
This is what true men and women of God must have realized over the ages.
Respecting Steiner's views while remembering God is the balanced approach I strove for, which came with time. Treating Steiner's philosophy as an end in itself can be dangerous, because then one ignores who is beyond all of it. That is an extreme perception and that was what was so hard for me to overcome while in NZ. That's why looking at his talks while I was in the course made me sick because it seemed to espouse impossibly high ideals that I never could and would achieve.
Thankfully, all I need to do is be my God self. Just be one with God. Nothing else needed. How simple.
My heartfelt thanks to Paramhansa Yogananda, who taught me about transferring allegiance from the Creation to the Creator. Thank you more than words can say.