Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

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Danny
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Danny » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:04 pm

One last thing. Steiner comes across as genuine and compassionate spiritualist, and I actually enjoyed his writings, although some of it was obscure, and in light of this thread I think is an important historical person whom bridged different elements into a condensed form of epistemology and anthropology into western thought, at a time coming off the back of World War One as an exploration of trying to do things differently. An attempted rewiring of calamitous old ways of thinking. I don't doubt his sincerity.


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Grigoris
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:11 pm

Sincerity doesn't cut it. You can be sincere and yet REALLY wrong.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Danny » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:37 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:11 pm
Sincerity doesn't cut it. You can be sincere and yet REALLY wrong.
Thanks


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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by tatpurusa » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:21 pm

Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:04 pm
One last thing. Steiner comes across as genuine and compassionate spiritualist, and I actually enjoyed his writings, although some of it was obscure, and in light of this thread I think is an important historical person whom bridged different elements into a condensed form of epistemology and anthropology into western thought, at a time coming off the back of World War One as an exploration of trying to do things differently. An attempted rewiring of calamitous old ways of thinking. I don't doubt his sincerity.


Regards
Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy are just a split-off from Theosophy. The reason of that split-off was that Steiner did not agree in choosing Jiddu Krishnamurthy and his brother as the Messiah/Avatar/Jagadguru/Buddha of the New Age. Some say he himself wanted to be the chosen one ...
Anyway, some years later Krishnamurthy's brother died and Jiddu Krishnamurthy himself left Theosophy declaring the whole Messiah-thing a fraud.

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Sādhaka » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:47 pm

Steiner was an boring and yet interesting person at the same time:

https://www.parareligion.ch/steiner.htm

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:25 pm

Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:00 pm
To be absolutely clear, not saying Steiner was a closet fascist...
Since he died in 1925, it would be hard to claim that. However, Anthroposophy is basically racist:
By chance, as it were, the root race which happened to be paramount at the time Steiner made these momentous discoveries was the Aryan race, a term which anthroposophists use to this day. All racial categories are arbitrary social constructs, but the notion of an Aryan race is an especially preposterous invention. A favorite of reactionaries in the early years of the twentieth century, the Aryan concept was based on a conflation of linguistic and biological terminology backed up by spurious “research.” In other words, it was an amalgamation of errors which served to provide a pseudo-scientific veneer to racist fantasies.

Anthroposophy’s promotion of this ridiculous doctrine is disturbing enough. But it is compounded by Steiner’s further claim that—in yet another remarkable coincidence—the most advanced group within the Aryan root race is currently the nordic-germanic sub-race or people. Above all, anthroposophy’s conception of spiritual development is inextricable from its evolutionary narrative of racial decline and racial advance: a select few enlightened members evolve into a new “race” while their spiritually inferior neighbors degenerate. Anthroposophy is thus structured around a hierarchy of biological and psychological as well as “spiritual” capacities and characteristics, all of them correlated to race. The affinities with Nazi discourse are unmistakable.

Steiner did not shy away from describing the fate of those left behind by the forward march of racial and spiritual progress. He taught that these unfortunates would “degenerate” and eventually die out. Like his teacher Madame Blavatsky, Steiner rejected the notion that Native Americans, for example, were nearly exterminated by the actions of European settlers. Instead he held that Indians were “dying out of their own nature.” 11

Steiner also taught that “lower races” of humans are closer to animals than to “higher races” of humans. Aboriginal peoples, according to anthroposophy, are descended from the already “degenerate” remnants of the third root race, the Lemurians, and are devolving into apes. Steiner referred to them as “stunted men, whose descendants still inhabit certain parts of the earth today as so-called savage tribes.”12

The fourth root race which emerged between the Lemurians and the Aryans were the inhabitants of the lost continent of Atlantis, the existence of which anthroposophists take as literal fact. Direct descendants of the Atlanteans include the Japanese, Mongolians, and Eskimos. Steiner also believed that each people or Volk has its own “etheric aura” which corresponds to its geographic homeland, as well as its own “Volksgeist” or national spirit, an archangel that provides spiritual leadership to its respective people.

Steiner propagated a host of racist myths about “negroes.” He taught that black people are sensual, instinct-driven, primitive creatures, ruled by their brainstem. He denounced the immigration of blacks to Europe as “terrible” and “brutal” and decried its effects on “blood and race.” He warned that white women shouldn’t read “negro novels” during pregnancy, otherwise they’d have “mulatto children.” In 1922 he declared, “The negro race does not belong in Europe, and the fact that this race is now playing such a large role in Europe is of course nothing but a nuisance.” 13

But the worst insult, from an anthroposophical point of view, is Steiner’s dictum that people of color can’t develop spiritually on their own; they must either be “educated” by whites or reincarnated in white skin. Europeans, in contrast, are the most highly developed humans. Indeed “Europe has always been the origin of all human development.” For Steiner and for anthroposophy, there is no doubt that “whites are the ones who develop humanity in themselves. [ . . . ] The white race is the race of the future, the spiritually creative race.” 14
http://social-ecology.org/wp/2009/01/an ... fascism-2/

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:25 pm
Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:00 pm
To be absolutely clear, not saying Steiner was a closet fascist...
Since he died in 1925, it would be hard to claim that. However, Anthroposophy is basically racist:
Proto-Fascism.

Fascist ideas had been kicking around ever since the idea of a nation state started evolving.

Consider the ethnic cleansing (genocide) of Armenians and Hellenes in Turkey that started in the 1910's and continued with the formation of the Turkish Republic. This included population swaps with Greece to ensure ethnic homogeneity in both countries. That was in the early 20's.

Greece has a fascist dictatorship in 1936.

Italy had a fascist party in 1915.

Spain in 1934.
Last edited by Grigoris on Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:57 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:49 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:25 pm
Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:00 pm
To be absolutely clear, not saying Steiner was a closet fascist...
Since he died in 1925, it would be hard to claim that. However, Anthroposophy is basically racist:
Proto-Fascism.
I'd go along with that.

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Danny » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:33 pm

Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:33 am
One can read between the lines of his collected lectures and with hindsight read the ground work being laid down through occult teachings of white lodges, council of "wise elders" the 7 races of mankind etc the coming storm brewing.

Regards
Quote myself here. Like I said historically is interesting.

Regards

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Grigoris » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:44 pm

Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:33 pm
Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:33 am
One can read between the lines of his collected lectures and with hindsight read the ground work being laid down through occult teachings of white lodges, council of "wise elders" the 7 races of mankind etc the coming storm brewing.

Regards
Quote myself here. Like I said historically is interesting.

Regards
Why shift through piles of shit looking for some flakes of gold, when there are bars of gold (Dharma) just lying there for the grabbing? :shrug:

This is why I cannot understand the New Age movement.

Okay, when the teachings were not widely available people grasped at straws and turned to Theosophy. I can understand that.

But now there are so many qualified and realised teachers available, why would you waste your time with brass instead of gold?

Yeah, yeah, I know: karma vipaka/phala.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Malcolm
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Malcolm » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:13 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:44 pm
Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:33 pm
Danny wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:33 am
One can read between the lines of his collected lectures and with hindsight read the ground work being laid down through occult teachings of white lodges, council of "wise elders" the 7 races of mankind etc the coming storm brewing.

Regards
Quote myself here. Like I said historically is interesting.

Regards
Why shift through piles of shit looking for some flakes of gold...
Some people are into the folklore of Austrian farmers?

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tobes
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by tobes » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:45 am

The link with fascism is really interesting. It's definitely there. Yes, there is the race stuff. But I think the deeper impulse is kind of Platonic: there are the elect who have access to true (occult, esoteric) knowledge. And there are the rest, who don't. The former can rightfully rule the latter. So power, knowledge and authority are all embedded together.

At least with actual Platonism, it's all staked on reason - so in theory at least, things like justice and the good are grounded in impartial thinking.

But occult Platonism, it's all staked on symbols and power which only the elect can truly interpret, so it is a very short road to reversed swastikas.....

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:06 am

Grigoris wrote:Greece has a fascist dictatorship in 1936.

Italy had a fascist party in 1915.

Spain in 1934.
America is hellbent on developing its own, but I think it will be foiled by Dear Leaders' supreme incompetence.

Many traditional schools of Buddhism are very conservative by modern standards - something which I think a lot of people overlook, as we've grown up in the modern world, and we don't necessarily recognise how radical this world is from a traditional perspective. We take for granted and assume many things which traditionalists of any kind would have been aghast at.

That sometimes manifests as the identification between traditionalism and reactionary political movements, as seen with Julius Evola and some other advocates of traditionalism. Indeed Mark Sedgewick's excellent book on those movements is called Against the Modern World (his interesting blog is here). But I so agree with their reasoning in some respects, and that modernity is indeed degenerate in some fundamental ways.

None of which is to rationalise conspiracy theories.
Last edited by Wayfarer on Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:12 am

tobes wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:45 am
The link with fascism is really interesting. It's definitely there. Yes, there is the race stuff. But I think the deeper impulse is kind of Platonic: there are the elect who have access to true (occult, esoteric) knowledge. And there are the rest, who don't. The former can rightfully rule the latter. So power, knowledge and authority are all embedded together.

At least with actual Platonism, it's all staked on reason - so in theory at least, things like justice and the good are grounded in impartial thinking.

But occult Platonism, it's all staked on symbols and power which only the elect can truly interpret, so it is a very short road to reversed swastikas.....
Since the ascendancy of Trump, I've often posted the Wiki definition of the term 'demagogue':
Wikipedia wrote:A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader) or rabble-rouser is a leader who gains popularity in a democracy by exploiting emotions, prejudice, and ignorance to arouse the common people against elites, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoned deliberation. Demagogues overturn established norms of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so.

Historian Reinhard Luthin defined demagogue thus: "What is a demagogue? He is a politician skilled in oratory, flattery and invective; evasive in discussing vital issues; promising everything to everybody; appealing to the passions rather than the reason of the public; and arousing racial, religious, and class prejudices—a man whose lust for power without recourse to principle leads him to seek to become a master of the masses. He has for centuries practiced his profession of 'man of the people'. He is a product of a political tradition nearly as old as western civilization itself."
which describes Trump to a T.

Plato was hostile to democracy because he saw the ascendancy of demagogues as its inevitable end, on the basis that the votes of the hoi polloi could easily be manipulated by them. Which is not to say that he was right - he was after all writing at the dawn of Western civilization and many of his ideas are plainly anachronistic and could never be realised. But he has a point, and America today is a pretty good illustration of it.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by tobes » Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:34 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:06 am
Grigoris wrote:Greece has a fascist dictatorship in 1936.

Italy had a fascist party in 1915.

Spain in 1934.
America is hellbent on developing its own, but I think it will be foiled by Dear Leaders' supreme incompetence.

Many traditional schools of Buddhism are very conservative by modern standards - something which I think a lot of people overlook, as we've grown up in the modern world, and we don't necessarily recognise how radical this world is from a traditional perspective. We take for granted and assume many things which traditionalists of any kind would have been aghast at.

That sometimes manifests as the identification between traditionalism and reactionary political movements, as seen with Julius Evola and some other advocates of traditionalism. Indeed Mark Sedgewick's excellent book on those movements is called Against the Modern World (his interesting blog is here). But I so agree with their reasoning in some respects, and that modernity is indeed degenerate in some fundamental ways.

None of which is to rationalise conspiracy theories.
Yes, Steve Bannon who was really the ideological heart of Trump's 2016 victory cites Evola as his main influence, so the connection here is pretty overt.

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Wayfarer » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:03 am

He also quotes Rene Guenon, which is disappointing, as rather admired Guenon, but would want to be associated with anything to do with Bannon and his ilk. There's a blog post about Bannon and his connection to Guenon on Sedgewick's blog. But I think Steve Bannon is a creep, wouldn't want anything to do with him (although I take solace in the observation in the blog that ' Unfortunately from Bannon’s perspective... Trump then also went on to destroy his own administration, and thus also the possibility of it actually achieving anything very much', a judgement which I'm in full agreement with. All that will be left of the Trump administration is a dreadful stain, which hopefully the succeeding generations will be able to expunge.)
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by Lazy Lubber » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:11 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:52 pm
Conspiracy theories are the place where new age dipshits and the alt right meet for dates and eventual miscegenation, resulting in Fascist Deadheads.
I live around lots of left-wingers, who appear to be life-long rebels against their conservative upbringing; despite the apple not falling very far from the tree. In other words, most of them are so straight when it comes to following the mass-media. Its frightening their lack of critical thinking. They are often as conformist as the right-wingers.

My understanding of Mahayana Buddhism & Madhyamaka is dependently originated causes are examined & understood. I think anyone blindly following the mass-media on any matter is not practising Buddhism (because it is quite obvious the mass-media is often a controlled propaganda arm of governments).

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tobes
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by tobes » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:36 am

Lazy Lubber wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:11 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:52 pm
Conspiracy theories are the place where new age dipshits and the alt right meet for dates and eventual miscegenation, resulting in Fascist Deadheads.
I live around lots of left-wingers, who appear to be life-long rebels against their conservative upbringing; despite the apple not falling very far from the tree. In other words, most of them are so straight when it comes to following the mass-media. Its frightening their lack of critical thinking. They are often as conformist as the right-wingers.

My understanding of Mahayana Buddhism & Madhyamaka is dependently originated causes are examined & understood. I think anyone blindly following the mass-media on any matter is not practising Buddhism (because it is quite obvious the mass-media is often a controlled propaganda arm of governments).
When one examines causes, conditions and imputations, sure, one often discovers commercial or political self-interest behind particular stories. But does one actually find supporting causal evidence for the mass-media being a controlled propaganda arm of governments? The (empty-dependently arisen) reality is much more complex in most cases. Of course, all governments have an interest in being presented by the media in particular ways. But this is not necessarily controlled propaganda. Sometimes it is PR, and sometimes PR verges very close to propaganda.

In Australia, two governments in the past decade have been basically brought down by the Murdoch press. Who is controlling who, in this instance?

And one media organisation is owned/funded by the government - but the government is itself consistently extremely hostile to it, frequently accusing it of bias.

Point being: causation is more complex than you want to have it.

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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by TsultimNamdak » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:32 am

Fascism definitely has a strong current of esoteric-occult thinking. For those of you interested in the importance of occult thinking on the German Nazi movement, I can recommend Erich Kurlander: Hitler's Monsters. The book is proper historical research, not the kind of speculation and nonsense which characterises most books on the subject. Many of the high ranking Nazis, especially the circles around Heinrich Himmler, Walter Darré and Rudolf Hess, were strongly influenced by occult and esoteric thinking, including Anthroposophy, Bio-dynamism and Buddhism. Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D, which murdered about 90.000 jews in Southern Russia and Ukraine, was amongst the high ranking supporters of research into Bio-Dynamic agriculture (which was viewed as truly Aryan, as opposed to Jewish, agriculture). He was even a member of the Anthroposophic church, the Christian Community, and was buried by a priest from that church after his execution. Anthroposophy was treated with suspicion by the regime but some of the members only outright persecuted after Hess' flight til Britain in 1941.

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tobes
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Re: Conspirituality - the overlap between the New Age and conspiracy beliefs

Post by tobes » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:51 am

TsultimNamdak wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:32 am
Fascism definitely has a strong current of esoteric-occult thinking. For those of you interested in the importance of occult thinking on the German Nazi movement, I can recommend Erich Kurlander: Hitler's Monsters. The book is proper historical research, not the kind of speculation and nonsense which characterises most books on the subject. Many of the high ranking Nazis, especially the circles around Heinrich Himmler, Walter Darré and Rudolf Hess, were strongly influenced by occult and esoteric thinking, including Anthroposophy, Bio-dynamism and Buddhism. Otto Ohlendorf, commander of Einsatzgruppe D, which murdered about 90.000 jews in Southern Russia and Ukraine, was amongst the high ranking supporters of research into Bio-Dynamic agriculture (which was viewed as truly Aryan, as opposed to Jewish, agriculture). He was even a member of the Anthroposophic church, the Christian Community, and was buried by a priest from that church after his execution. Anthroposophy was treated with suspicion by the regime but some of the members only outright persecuted after Hess' flight til Britain in 1941.
Thanks for the tip. Although I'll never enjoy biodynamic yogurt as much.....

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