The Meaning of Christmas

Steiner talks about the true meaning of Christmas in his lecture he gave in Berlin on Christmas Eve 1905.

That there was a pre-Christian festival around this time of year is commonly accepted. Only Christians are celebrating the birth of Jesus. Some of us celebrate midwinter.

I did briefly think I had found a bit of common ground with Rudolf. There is a passage about festivals which includes this;

“Today we have felt how the days have grown shorter…and this will continue until the day we celebrate as Christmas, a day that was also celebrated by our ancestors. From this day on, the days begin to grow longer. The light of the sun celebrates its victory over darkness.“

“The festival at Christmas time was known in the most ancient Mysteries of all religions everywhere, and has always been celebrated.”

Unfortunately Steiner soon veers off in to his fantasy world of demons and cosmic forces.

“It [Christmas] is not merely an outer sun festival, but one that leads man to a divination of the sources of existence. It was celebrated annually by the highest initiates in the Mysteries at the time of year when the sun’s force was weakest and bestowed least warmth upon the earth. It was also celebrated by those who were unable to participate in the entire celebration, but were permitted to experience only the outer pictorial expression of the highest Mysteries. This imagery has been preserved throughout the ages and has assumed forms in accordance with the various religious confessions. The celebration of Christmas is the festival of the Sacred Night, which, in the great Mysteries, was celebrated by those personalities who were ready to bring about the resurrection of the higher self within their inmost being. Today we would say, “Within their inmost being they gave birth to the Christ.”

Waldorf watch has this;

Christians, Jews, and Muslims believe in a single all-powerful God. This God occupies the central position in normal Christmas observances. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of God’s son on Earth.

Anthroposophy sees things quite differently. There is no all-powerful God in Anthroposophical belief.* Omnipotence and omniscience are only distant ideals, which the evolving universe may reach in the distant future — but they do not exist now. According to Waldorf belief, God does not exist, at least not as the monotheistic faiths describe Him. In Anthroposophy, there are many, many gods, including evil gods such as the arch-demon Ahriman. (Steiner imported Ahriman from Zoroastrianism. References to Ahriman are just one of the strange elements in the Anthroposophical version of Christmas.)

Anthroposophists are quite happy for people to be under the misapprehension that their beliefs are Christian. They gain credibility that way.

But Waldorf watch goes on

If you are looking for the true meaning of Christmas, don’t look for it in a school that accepts Rudolf Steiner’s teachings. Rudolf Steiner considered the Bible so inadequate, he wrote his own amendment. Literally. THE FIFTH GOSPEL gives Steiner’s “clairvoyant” account of the life of Jesus, studded with unbiblical concepts such as karma and reincarnation. This is the gospel embraced by Anthroposophists. “The Fifth Gospel is the anthroposophical Gospel .” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FIFTH GOSPEL (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2001), p. 37. Unless you are willing to accept Steiner’s new gospel, and his revised Sermon on the Mount, and his revised Lord’s Prayer, and all of his occult doctrines, you are unlikely to find what you seek in the Waldorf universe. The real meaning of Christmas — like the real meaning of almost everything else — lies elsewhere.





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