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Welcome To Steiner98 On The Web

Steiner98 is the most fun I've had with my clothes on! -- Anon.

Picture of Tom Mellett

Steiner98 is a private mailing list devoted to discussion of the ideas of Rudolf Steiner as they relate to our lives at the end of the second millenium. The List Founder and Immoderator is the Right Irreverend Thomas Edward Andrew Mellett -- and if you don't already know him, brace yourself! Father Tom himself has said of Steiner98:

The Intuition Network hosted two lists devoted to Anthroposophy: the Anthroposophia Ark and Steiner98, one above and the other below. [N.B., both lists now moved to other hosts.] But "as above; so below" is the Hermetic motto. One List displays the sweet smelling and pretty sprouts, while the other is the supportive but ugly, gross and gnarly root system.

Well, if you know your alchemy & Hermeticism, in order for something to smell good; something else has to smell rotten. In order for something to be light-filled, warm and nurturing, something else has to be dark, cold and withering.

I'm grateful that we all belong to the same plant, though, despite our very different, polar opposite functions in the growth of that plant.

The Intuition Network acted as both an incubator and a place of quarantine for Steiner98. When the Intuition Network pulled the plug on all their email lists, Tom had this to say:

So now, the Quadruple of Steiner98 is being let loose upon the rest of the Steiner Internet. Whatever the future brings, the quarantine is over. (Never did like being an Essene, even if we were actually "Counter-Essenes" on S98).

And here and now I'd like to toast his Eminence, Jeffrey Cardinal Mishlove, esteemed Archbishop of the Diocese of the Intuition Network, AKA our wonderful Father Damien, who established this Cyber-Molokai leper colony for us all. But now, we are all being liberated and thus let loose upon the rest of the cyber-world to infect it with our own strain of infectious anthroposophical leprosy.

But after all, that's our spiritual mission. Steiner said that the greatest danger to anthroposophy becoming a force for life in society was anthroposophists' "love of ease." But now, with the viral "spores" of <Steiner98> now freely moving about the Internet, observe how self-indulgent, sleepy, bourgeois anthropops and moms will soon be freshly waking up all over to develop a "love of dis-ease," which is, of course, the most potent and stimulating antidote to the spiritual disease of "love of ease." (Yes, my guru, like Hilmar's, is Swami Beyondananda. And you can see how difficult is the spiritual exercise of Right Punning.)

On that note, I hereby graduate myself from Father Tom, the Immoderator of Steiner98, to Doctor Tom, Official Psychic-Spiritual-Sexual Healer of the New Millennium, and Lover Boy of Dis-Ease!

You may also read Fr. Tom's post, Initiates of Despair, which describes the genesis of Steiner98 in more detail.

Regular contributor JoAnn Schwartz, a.k.a. Sister Mary JoAnna of the Order of Our Lady of Perpetual Indulgence, wrote about Steiner98:

Lots of folks here on S98 have been known to complain, from time to time, that they were looking for a 'higher' level of discussion. But the mission of Steiner98 is different. We aren't heading up to the mountain top. We are headed down into the swamp -- stinking, fetid, and fertile. We are not about heady, intellectual pursuits. We are about plumbing. As our fearless leader once put it, we are digging out the karmic sewers of anthroposophy.

(You know, where we lived in Japan, there were no sewers. Unbeknownst to us, there were no septic tanks either. Our toilet was connected to a holding tank and every couple of months we had to call the 'shit-suckers' to bring round the truck and evacuate the tank. Nobody thought to tell us this, however, they just figured we knew. I don't even want to get into what happened one morning at the beginning of the fourth month when we flushed.....)

So don't laugh about the sewers. Plumbing is important. It is serious work we do here, too.

As for complaints about Fr. Tom and his lack of respect -- hey, he disrespects everyone who thinks we need to climb the mountain before the sewers are taken care of! Think of him as an old-fashioned Zen master who constantly whacks his pupils upside the head in an effort to wake them up.

Sometimes folks need to finish that vision quest thing up in the mountains before they realize that they need to work for a spell down here in the sewers. But hey, that's ok. The sewers will still be here. The sewers are always here. And as Fr. Tom has so rightly observed, there ain't no way to get up and stay up except by digging down. It's the central paradox of Steiner98.

And Brother Bobby Matherne, sometimes known as Friar Jeauxseph, wrote in response to a complaint about vulgar language:

Steiner98 is fun, interesting, insightful, and at times as raw and rowdy as a mud-wrestling bout in a red-neck sports bar. If you're looking for genteel language, you might prefer to visit what we at Steiner98 call Auntie Sophie's Tea Room [Anthroposophia list -- formerly on the Intuition Network-- see Links below].

After Tom Mellett's being drummed out of several other Steiner lists, he formed this one specifically to have no rules. It's anything goes -- and it often does. The crudities you mentioned are mild compared to the language that sometimes bursts out on the list. It is a private list... which means you find us by word of mouth ... or by falling down a cyber-rabbit hole.

You are certainly welcome, but if you stay, it will better if you simply delete any posts that contains harsh language, as trying to discourage it will only embroil you in discussions you'd rather not have. Wet blankets are useful for putting out fires you don't want. The fires that break out here have a useful purpose, like a beach party weiner roast, and a suggestion of wet blanket snuffing would, yes, be most unwelcome. If it gets too hot for you, just take a cool dip in the pool, that's another metaphor that we find useful to survive the at-times hot periods on Steiner98.

I dislike the crude words as much as I dislike Tom's abominable habit of CAPITALIZING words for emphasis, but I prefer the freedom of unrestrained discussion more than coerced gentility.

I hope you decide to stay and bring gentility by your presence and your participation in those posts that you do find meet your own standards.

Onward & Downward

Administrivia: How to Join or Leave Steiner98

Rules for Steiner98

This Week's Verse from the Calendar of the Soul

Selections from Post-Existential Sonnets, Folio I

Come to Our Cyber-Garden Party

The Steiner in Steiner98

Pontifications of Father Tom

Back Talk from the Her'im

Links to the Garden and Beyond

Steiner, Official Mascot of Steiner98
[Photo courtesy of Brother Bobby Matherne]

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