Sounds good, doesn’t it? But it is another of those words that has a special meaning in anthroposophy. According to Steiner it is one of the 12 senses.
This website describes Steiner’s idea of “the four ethers”, of which warmth ether is one;
“Its elemental counterpart is fire, or externally perceivable warmth. Warmth ether and warmth as an element are closely related”.
“Warmth ether” is an important factor if you believe Steiner’s version of how the world was formed as does this writer;
“Steiner referred to the most primary form of etheric substance, from which the original “Old Saturn” stage of the Earth was formed, as Warmth-Ether, that is, substance that consist of “heat” or “warmth”. Now, according to physical science, there is no actual substance called “heat”; temperature is simply the result of the motion or speed of vibration of atoms and other particles. The faster the particle vibrates, the “hotter” it is. According to Steiner, “heat” is an actual substance, which stands in the same relation to gas as gas does to liquid”.
“…The Etheric level is intermediate between the Physical and the Psychic world. Due to the gradational nature of reality, according to which everything can be conceived of as a vast spectrum or continuum, every vertical level or world can be considered intermediate between the two worlds which border it on either side (i.e. above and below).”
This author hastens to defend Steiner’s “out there” statements about warmth;
“Now, I for one think we can take the word of physicists when they say there is no such substance as “heat”. This does not mean that Steiner was wrong though. It only means that he was not describing something which is actually physical, but rather something which precedes the physical.”
Steiner is never wrong according to his followers, no matter how bizarre his statements .
Here is an extract from an article in the Waldorf Library about ringtime, or circle time in Steiner schools.
“Warmth is perhaps the most important element of the work with ringtime. Warmth is the physical expression of ego activity; … Warm hands and rosy cheeks tell us that the incarnating ego is working into the physical body. The development of the organs of the young child is dependent on the working of the warmth organism. There can’t be development without warmth.”
Hats and slippers are features of Steiner, with teachers insisting on children wearing them. It can be an attractive feature for parents who feel their child is being well looked after, but are they aware of the spiritual reasons why “warmth” is important in anthroposophy?
Here a registered nurse puts into words in an Anthromed article the occult ideas about warmth;
“I feel that care for the warmth organization of the child is the immediate task of parents and care givers because the re-directing and reorganizing forces of our higher self are hidden in the warmth of the blood.”
We all find comfort in being cosily warm at times, and in knowing that our children are warm. Steiner play on this “feelgood factor” by using warmth in their blurb. It was even used when the SWSF gave evidence to the DfE at the Select Committee on Children, Schools and Families on Early years Education. Graham Kennish asserted;
” …a huge number of parents and childminders who contacted Open EYE were looking for a second home that would give their child self-confidence, warmth and happiness, which is not a word that one finds in the early years documentation.”
It was pointed out in reply however, that
“The Every Child Matters approach and the five outcomes [of EYE] were very clear on the importance of well-being and child safety.”
All teachers and parents have a duty to look after of the children in their care; anyone would think from their claims that only Steiner schools do so. They do care, but primarily about the spiritual development or “higher self” of children. Creepy.