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Appendix 2

Dialectical Immaterialism

Although there is a tendency to obscure the importance of Rudolf Steiner's "Anthroposophy" for "Neoism," their correspondence is too evident to be neglected. Since most literature on "Anthroposophy" is written by "Anthroposophists" (even, as it seems, the articles in the 'Encyclopedia of Religion' and in the Brockhaus Encyclopedia) and appeared to be unreliable and mystifying, the author's attempts to summarize Steiner's theory were doomed to fail. The term "Anthroposophy" was introduced, almost a century before its appropriation by Steiner, in I.P.V. Troxler's philosophical essay "Naturlehre des menschlichen Erkennens oder Metaphysik," "Natural Doctrine of Human Understanding or Metaphysics," as just what its title describes. It however remained a vague concept until Steiner used it in 1902 as a substitute of 'theosophy' in order to give his ideas a more serious appearance. Since Steiner's oeuvre, more or less a synonym of "anthroposophistic" theory, consists of 350 volumes including more than 7000 lectures he held until his death in 1925, it seems impossible to draw an abstract when not relying on "anthroposophistic" sources.

Going through the pages of some of Steiner's books, the author learned that "Anthroposophy" was set up by Steiner as an occultist patchwork of Gnosticist, Neoplatonist, Cabbalist, and Rosicrucian thought, alchemy, the King Arthur saga, Christian spiritualism, Hegelian metaphysics, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Nordic-shamanist cultism, interspersed with elements of holistic science and oddly appropriated thermodynamics. In Steiner's understanding, human beings consist of body, 'soul' and 'spirit,' and not, like in Christian belief, solely of body and 'soul.' Like in the doctrines of National Socialism, the 'soul' mediates between body and 'spirit.' The body as such is mainly attributed to minerals and plants, the 'soul' to animals, and the 'spirit' to human and 'higher' beings. According to Steiner, the earth materialized in a reversed entropy, a cooling down and hardening of warm, fluid, dynamic spirit to cold, hard and static matter. Although hardened, the spirit is still present in everything. Men's task is to overturn this process by liberating the hidden 'spirit.' However, a 'messias' or 'shaman' is necessary to inspire and guide the liberation.

The 'Neoists' were devoted to these ideas. "Monty Cantsin," the man "who can't sin" is both attribute of a spiritual leader and the name of every 'Neoist.' His primary task was to convince others to adopt his name and thereby undergo a gnostic self-purification, transmuting into a time- and bodiless being, the "collective soul" or "world spirit" in the promised land of " Akademgorod." Like Steiner, the 'Neoists' believed in a correspondence of material and 'spiritual' spheres and used to sign their letters with "As above so below."

The 'Neoist' project was an attempt to fuse Steiner's dialectical immaterialism with the totalitarian aesthetics of romanticism. Its sign of recognition, a flaming steam iron, is basically a Steinerian emblem: The burning glue on the iron exemplifies the "anthroposophistic" dialectic of entropy, warm and amorphous versus hard and cold material. The flame on the iron and the blood of the 'Neoist' stand for a constant supply and conservation of energy. Just like the "Anthroposophists," the 'Neoists' seeked to 'warm the world by attaching chaotic elements to it. Guiding their audience to do the same, they tried to evoke its hidden faculties. Hence the slogan "everybody can become Monty Cantsin" had a different implication than "everybody is an artist" in Pop Art. "

Akademgorod," the final stage of material transformation and collective spiritualization, is prefigured in Rudolf Steiner's comment on the divinity of bees. The 'Neoists' adapted his theory of the correspondence between the cell-structure of bee-wax and the cell-structure of blood in their " Blood Campaign" and their "Data Cells." The bee-hive as a transcendental, self-sufficient collective space is the model of " Akademgorod." According to Steiner, the bee creates warmth with its breast muscles. He describes honey as the product of an alchemical transformation: just like a 'Neoist,' the bee "collects what is there and takes it to a higher level."

Translated excerpt of Jürgen Pfefferkorn's essay Okkultismus in der Avantgarde,published in OYKO, no. 3, 1988, p. 22-25