I got triggered. Someone asked in a online group if needle felting was harmful for a young child, on spiritual ground. Someone replied having heard that the stabbing proces is also stabbing the soul. My trigger came after that; someone laughed away this possibility.
To be clear; as far as the group knew, Steiner didn’t say anything about this. It’s a rumour. Waldorf has more of this rumours, becoming sometimes ungrounded rules.
On the one hand, I can understand the laughing person; it sounds a little weird; pricking a needle in felt could harm the soul?…. On the other hand, in eurythmy therapy a ground principle is that repeating makes the energy of the eurythmy gesture go inwards, influencing the patient. There could be something true behind the needle felting situation, so laughing it away was preemptive.
A problem I perceive is the perfectionism in Waldorf, in a combination of to little knowledge. Perfectionism is a solution for fear of failing; do everything perfect, so you don’t have feel the (expected) pain of failure. This is often in parenting, Waldorf has the extra problem that it has spiritual stuff that’s not so clear why something is good or wrong.
One group solves this to follow instructions very strictly. If Steiner, tradition or some authority says; this spiritual thing is so, they do it and get angry if others confront them. Here is the fear of doing wrong and not knowing the reasons behind spiritual ideas working.
The group dismissing some principles have also fear behind them. They of course also want the best for their children. Some ‘weird’ spiritual rule popping up could mean they don’t do the best for their children, they (the dismissing person) could do wrong. Rather than facing the possibility to be wrong, they dismiss the (possible) spiritual principles.
I am eurythmy teacher, I know a lot of anthroposophic background and have often to defend some of them against the dismissing group. On the other hand, I am also not in the group of rigid rule followers. I am in between.
And I hope that both groups try to face the possibilities of being wrong.