Phenomenal presentation. Most note worthy was that the Russian delegate proved Dr Snyder’s thesis. Simply wonderful.

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Thank you, Professor Snyder.

You report that you said: "Speaking of history, the Russian representative denied that there was such a thing as the history of Ukraine. I would refer the Russian representative to excellent surveys by historians who know both Ukrainian and Russian, such as the recent work by my colleague Serhii Plokhii at Harvard. I would refer people in general to my open class on Ukrainian history at Yale, which I hope shares the significance of Ukrainian history more eloquently than I can here."

Thank you for including the link to your open class on Ukrainian history at Yale -- and for offering the class. Perhaps one day the Russian representative will be able to enter the open class and learn.

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Mic drop….boom! Just read this aloud to my wife. Elegant and powerful, as usual, Dr. Snyder.

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This is the best argument I’ve ever heard on anything! Bravo, Professor. Thank you good sir. You are a true fighter for Ukraine. Слава Україні!

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Setting the conversation Straight versus. Doublespeak Thank you

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Excellent presentation! The question is, will anyone at the UN take it to heart?

Shouldn’t the UN suspend Russia’s membership in its various organizations, starting with the Security Council? Shouldn’t every lever of pressure be pulled to hopefully lead to change in Russia’s policy and messaging?

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Calmly magnificent, Dr. Snyder. I have waited until 7:46 PM to comment to give me time to watch the news for some mention of this historic presentation. Nada. How was this not reported on and shared, even on MSNBC? I can only hope that someone more connected then me is on this. Спасибі і слава Україні!

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Our media is unable to walk and chew gum, so the topic of the moment gets hyped and hyped and hyped while other truly significant news is ignored.

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While Donald Trump personifies many evil things, I acknowledge his gift for creating language "memes" that characterize and criticize certain groups.

"Lame Stream" media perfectly characterizes the state of the largest media outlets in the USA. Articles are published by Journalists who pretend to know about a subject after a conducting 20 minute internet search.

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Thank you Professor. Your voice and scholarship are essential, not just to refute Putin's propaganda on the world stage, but also as a conscious for your fellow Americans. As you well know, a substantial portion of elected officials and candidates of a major U.S. political party willfully tout Putin's narrative, egged on by far-right media, led by Rupert Murdoch and his on-air personalities - to Putin's delight. Americans need to hear your message.

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Amazingly clear and as solid as ever. Much appreciated.

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In autocracies, the opposition end up dead, jailed or exiled.

“The worst nightmare for a political prisoner is to be forgotten “

- Vladimir Kara-Murza

We have not forgotten! #ProtectDemocracy 🗣

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Russia on Monday, March 14th, 2023 began the closed-door trial of jailed opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who faces more than two decades in prison on charges including treason for comments critical of the Kremlin.


Damn straight we won’t forget!

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#NeverForget 🗣

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It is never straightforward or simple. This past year that Vladimir was held in detention before this postponed trial has taken a severe toll on his body, though not his spirit. What follows is a plea from his wife and a friend:



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If "Russophobia" exists, it is actually Putin phobia because he is a KGB killer and Kremlin phobia because Putin controls it and the minds of Russians. Without Putin and the Kremlin, Russia, Russian culture, and Russians would be fantastic to be around. As President Zelensky has said, "Russians will not be completely free until they get the Kremlin out of their minds." First and foremost, that begins with Putin and his terror.

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Zelensky predicts Putin will be toppled by his own people. They will ‘find a reason to kill the killer’, said Ukraine’s President. 🌻

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Be careful what you wish for. At the moment the person who seems to be best poised to replace Putin is Prigohyn, head of the neo-nazi Wagner Group. No democrat, that one. I think we are in for a very long period of ideological conflict with Russia. That makes a Ukrainian vectory all the more essential.

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Comrade Putin’s opponents have a bad habit of falling out of windows.

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Not Prigozhin from what I hear from those who are close analysts. Good guessing game though.

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Yes, but calling it “phobia” implies that it is a mental disorder. And there is no mental disorder involved in fearing and hating Putin or his genocidal minions.

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When I was a kid I pulled a piece of metal out of an irrigation pond and was shocked to find a leech on my finger which created a phobia. Another time I walked in at night in the dark into a milk room that was clicking with the sounds of millions of maggots on the body of a dead cow. Which also created a maggot phobia of mine from when I flicked on my flashlight and saw the waves of the maggots rolling off the dead cow. Same principle, a revulsion and phobia created from something nasty and shocking like the maggot Putin.

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Thank you. Well done, Timothy Snyder. Oh that argument, generally speaking, was as thoughtful and eloquently stated as your’s today. There’s not an arena, topic, or perspective that wouldn’t be greatly elevated if that was the case. But alas, we muddle on through the lies, accusations, insults, and dangerous nonsense.

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Corrupt language has to be called out. Obscuring the truth has to be called out. Clarity and calm help us all work to create a world where realizing one's worth depends on respect for law and for borders that give people the security to make choices for themselves--including the choice to study the history of one's country. Very grateful for this public testimony at the UN.

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Just excellent. As always. I don't know at what point in the meeting Dr. Snyder's testimony was given, but it makes me wonder— Was the Russian representative to the Security Council present during this? I can't imagine him actually sitting through it.

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The camera showed him in the second, shorter response. He looked just like you thought he would look. He will likely be taken to the window of a tall building for setting this up.

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Thank you.

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This is so brilliant. Concise, informed, intelligent ,focussed, passionate, controlled and of course, utterly damning not only of Putin and co but of every onlooker who prides themselves on 'not taking sides'.

Thank you. Thank you.

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Your comment here has the same qualities you praise in Timothy Snyder’s speech. “Perfect”, as they say. I appreciate that you added that those who pride themselves on ‘not taking sides’ (many journalists and news organizations) are equally damned.

The dynamic of all this, in psychological terms, is that of Perpetrator--Victim--Passive Bystander. The Bystander, who does not help but rationalizes, makes excuses or ignores, is also traumatizing to the Victim. Maybe equally traumatizing in the long run.

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According to spiritual teachings such as those of the modern initiate Dr Rudolf Steiner, our moral sense is innate. It follows from this, that there is no such thing as to be "amoral". You are either moral or immoral, and depending on how you have developed that sense, you may be more or less moral, more or less immoral, but you cannot be "amoral". Just as with the faculty of sight, where either you see more or less well or you are blind, and there is no such thing as "a-seeing", so the immoral should not be allowed to hide behind bogus pretensions of being "outside the game". We are all in the game, like it or not.

By analogy, in the political world, the notion of a country being "neutral" is suspect. Stances such as Switzerland's vis-à-vis the Russia–Ukraine war right now need to be carefully examined for hypocrisy and a shelving of responsibility. Same for much of the third world. And same for Sweden during WWII.

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Sweden helped my young Dad, a Danish/Swedish resistance fighter flee from Gestapo during WWII. Without Sweden, the 7,220 Danish Jews boat lifted across Oeresund would have been sent to a certain death. Sweden also housed foreign resistance fighters and downed allied pilots until the liberation. The Danish Brigade was trained and housed in Sweden. My mother was Norwegian, and never forgave the Swedes for allowing German troops reach northern Norway on trains through Sweden. But thank the good Swedes for their generosity. My paternal grandmother hid Jews in their Vedbæk home before they were cleared to cross by boat to Sweden. My paternal grandfather, her husband was the leader of the local resistance. Thanks to people like my brave family, kids like me grew up in the Free World. ✌🏻

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"But thank the good Swedes for their generosity."

There was no implication whatsoever in my comment that Swedes during WWII were all monsters. You confuse the personal behaviour of individuals with the impersonal role of government. My comment was a political comment and referred to the Swedish government's stance of neutrality, not conduct of individual Swedes. My comment connected, on that level, with Dr Snyder's political statements to the UN. He was not telling personal stories, he was giving a highly sophisticated political analysis of the reality of governmental and media actions.

Of course, it goes without saying that in all nations, at all times, there are good individuals who sometimes are called upon to perform heroic acts.

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The Swedish government helped the allied and the resistance. Not just the good Swedes.

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The Swedish GOVERNMENT was NEUTRAL in WWII. That means, it did not align itself with one side or the other. Once again, you miss my point and confuse the political with the personal.

It is important to keep these distinct. You cannot conduct a discussion about the pros or cons of government policy by citing actions of individual private citizens.

My point was about the moral/ethical implications of government neutrality, not about what individuals may have done for or against Sweden or the Allies.

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Mar 15, 2023·edited Mar 19, 2023

It seems to me that moral and immoral are judgements one makes, or we collectively make based on culture which has to to with history. It's not either/or nor an absolute. I can say that Hitler was immoral. I can say that Putin is immoral. I can even say that Trump to me seems amoral. But I am making those judgements. We do this-we agree or not- in conversation, giving opinions.Again we can generally agree or not. So I think I disagree with Steiner according to the above and this logic and the simile about seeing as well which is more a black and white matter.

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When it comes to malignant narcissists, not even Rudolph Steiner gets my vote.

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I am nonplussed as to what your comment means.

If you care to explain what you mean by "malignant narcissists" in relation to your reference to Dr Steiner, I will be happy to reply.

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I’m a great fan of Rudolf Steiner, and especially creative education. But I’m no fan of malignant narcissists like Putin, Hitler and Trump, to name a few.

Malignant Narcissism -

‘the most severe pathology and the root of the most vicious destructiveness and inhumanity.’ - Erich Fromm

I don’t think you can teach me much, Penelope - so please take your long and tedious word salad comments off my thread as I’m sadly unable to mute you. 😉

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It's not your thread Kirsten. You do not own it. That's for TS to do and that is also why there is a reply button. Everyone who wants to can read here.

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Thankyou for that clarification. Now I understand that it is Putin, Hitler, and Trump whom you regard as "malignant narcissists", citing Erich Fromm as your authority.

Okay, I have no particular problem with that.

But I do have a problem with your claiming to be a "great fan of Rudolf Steiner, and especially creative education".

In a word, you cannot claim to be a fan of Steiner and his Waldorf education while holding the views you evidently do. It is not a question a being in a fan club; it is a question of actually knowing something about the subject.

You asserted in a reply to a previous post of mine that we cannot see the future. No one who has studied and knows anything of Steiner's teachings could possibly think such a thing.

Steiner was a high-level initiate in the Western spiritual tradition. His teachings were Christ-based, and were a modern updated revelation of what had previously been esoteric Christian teaching. The spiritual path he taught was designed to appeal to those of us moderns who had been reared in an environment of secular humanism or actual atheism.

By virtue of being an initiate, Steiner was a polymath, a true "Renaissance man". Thus, depending on the person he was interacting with, he might appear in any one of many different guises. So to an architect, he appeared as a master architect. To an educator, he appeared as the great teacher who introduced Waldorf education. To a farmer, he was the teacher of biodynamic agriculture. To therapists, he was the deviser of curative eurhythmy. To psychologists, he proffered the definitive rebuttal of Freud and Jung.

So it is not enough to be "a great fan of" somebody. It is necessary to actually know something about them and what they teach, what they stand for.

Sadly, judging by our interactions so far, I am obliged to agree with you: I don't think I can teach you much.

But a lack of understanding on your part does not give you the right to abuse me. You are not entitled to remove me from this discussion simply because you do not understand my comments. You have no right to condemn me, in your ignorance, without evidence, as offering "long and tedious word salad comments".

I think it necessary to remind you that it was I who first made a comment in this space, and it was then you who chose to respond to my comment. If you did not want an exchange, you were under no obligation to intervene with your own response. Having intervened, your contribution had some responsibility, as a reply to me, to be on-topic, relevant to my post, and respectful.

You have failed miserably on all three counts. I will not be continuing this further, as I cannot see anything more I can usefully add to what has already be said.

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"It seems to me that moral and immoral are judgements one makes, or we collectively make based on culture which has to to with history."

Thanks for your response. Yes, your view is correct if you take this physical world as the limit and framework within which human beings operate. So, if one is an atheist or secular humanist, this is how the world is analysed and understood. That is entirely legitimate as far as it goes.

But the human race has always, until very recently in the West, acknowledged the existence of spiritual worlds beyond this world we perceive with our physical senses.

This spiritual worldview encompasses, not just external religion, with which most secular people are familiar today, but also esoteric spirituality, which describes and acts within a framework of spiritual worlds, and which is infinitely broader and more encompassing than that of secular humanism.

It is within this broad spiritual framework that after extensive study and practice, a knowledge, an understanding, arises that the moral faculty is innate, hence inborn, in human beings. So this becomes, not a matter of faith or belief, but a question of actual knowledge—spiritual knowledge. This spiritual knowledge is objective, and shared amongst those who have achieved the corresponding level of insight. By analogy, we could say that things are shared between those working in spiritual worlds in the same way as, say, knowledge of advanced aeronautical engineering is shared between those who have studied that subject to the required level in this physical world. The spiritual facts established in the spiritual worlds are facts just as much as the aeronautical facts established in our physical world are facts of aeronautics, insofar as they are both facts. Spiritual facts, physical facts. Not beliefs or questions of judgement.

So if you take a stance from the point of view of the spiritual worlds, you can give Putin a grade on the scale of immorality. You can give Trump a grade on the scale, placing him above or below the divide between the moral and the immoral. But you cannot grade Trump on a scale of amorality, because amorality is an abstract concept without substance in the real world. It does not exist in the real world. In practice, "amorality" usually serves as a weasel word employed to get people off the hook when faced with difficult moral choices.

So, the problem with "amorality" at the level of the individual is mirrored at the level of politics and governance by the equally abstract concept of "neutrality". From the point of view of spiritual worlds, it is not possible to be "amoral" as an individual, nor is it possible to be "neutral" as a nation.

And now, to address your final point:

"So I think I disagree with Steiner according to the above and this logic and the simile about seeing as well which is more a black and white matter."

Seeing is not actually black and white, if you think about it. There is "seeing", and there is "blindness", and this appears to be a binary, black-and-white situation. But actually there is a scale from "seeing" to "blindness". One can be partially sighted. And this can be further broken down into degrees of "partial-sightedness". And so on. And then there is the added dimension of colour-blindness, and how this relates to the overall sightedness scale. And so on. But there is no such thing as "a-sightedness", in the sense of, you are not on the scale at all. Everyone, by virtue of being a human being, is on the scale at some point. The same applies to morality and, by extension, ethics.

There's a huge range of ways in which individuals can contribute positively to our world today. I think for some—Dr Snyder and, I’m guessing, yourself—the work lies in the framework available to us in this physical world—history, psychology, etc. For myself, and many others, our aptitudes and skills lead us to work out of understandings derived from spiritual worlds. Both are good. Both are inherently worthwhile, if done well.

I do hope this clarifies things a little. I contribute here from the point of view of spiritual understandings when it seems to me we may have something worthwhile to add to the general discussion. I know the perceptual/conceptual world I inhabit is largely unknown to many these days, and that's also okay. But it remains the case that if we want to expand our understandings of what it means to be human, genuine contributions from the standpoint of spiritual understandings continue to be important.

Thanks for your important comment!

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Mar 16, 2023·edited Mar 16, 2023

I don't have to grade Trump on a scale if I judge him to be amoral. Neither is neutrality abstract. Both have definite meaning for me. In the world where we scrounge around here on the earth and try to communicate with each other, these words have definitions and meanings and we can consult the dictionary to get the commonly accepted usage. For me an act is immoral, or a person seems totally immoral (or moral). Or a person seems amoral- no gradations needed (the dictionary definition is fine). I don't know what we can agree on. These are judgements.

What comes across as a teaching in your comment is about Rudolf Steiner's teaching/ path to higher spirituality. Therefore you feel entitled to deliver a Truth, a Spiritual Truth here and that can be offensive. This is yours.

I was familiar with Steiner from so many years ago and refreshing myself on Wikipedia about him, I see that he echos other spiritual teachers, some secular, some inadvertently so, that I have come across since. There are many who teach spirituality and they are really helpful. But trying to teach some absolute Truth here in such a way only widens the chasm. Everyone has their own spirituality, their own possibilities and weaknesses despite being secular humanist, agnostic, atheistic, or following a religious path.

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Okay, thanks for your reply. But two things in response:

1. "I don't have to grade Trump on a scale if I judge him to be amoral."

I think it is fair to say, most people accept that Trump tells lies—deliberate, knowing untruths. Most people would regard telling deliberate lies as an immoral act. So how do you acknowledge that Trump knowingly lies while still regarding him as "amoral"? A person is not separate from their acts, unless insane. So how can Trump's lies be "amoral"?

2. "…you feel entitled to deliver a Truth, a Spiritual Truth here and that can be offensive. This is yours."

"There are many who teach spirituality and they are really helpful. But trying to teach some absolute Truth here in such a way only widens the chasm. Everyone has their own spirituality…"

I feel entitled to communicate things I know about where they are relevant to the topic/discussion and can hence be helpful. Spiritual truths are no different to anything else in this respect.

But I am emphatically not trying to "teach" some "absolute Truth". There is no need to capitalise "spiritual" and "truth". Spiritual truths are many, and they exist as objective facts in various spiritual worlds. These worlds and their truths are relative, in the sense that they exist in relation to each other. There are many realities, relative realities—our physical world is one of these.

So from the point of view of this physical world, other worlds look unreal, like fairy tales and fantasies. But when you are in a spiritual world, it is then our physical world that looks to be unreal. Hence it has been called Maya, the Great Illusion. Every world is real when you are inside it, and has its own truths.

People can access these truths for themselves if they are prepared to put in the study and practice. Then they know. But as I said previously, that is not for everyone, and that is fair enough. But it is reasonable to expect those who have not accessed other worlds to listen impartially to communications from those who have. Provided, that is, that the communications are made in an objective rational manner—designed for thought and discussion, and are not missionary ranting and raving—which are designed to convert.

There is no requirement here for the listener to "believe", merely to hear and think about it, as you would with any other type of communication. This website is called "Thinking about…"

And so I cannot agree with you that communicating facts about spirituality should be prohibited from this thread on the grounds that "spirituality" is a private matter and talking about it can be "offensive". On the contrary, from where I stand there is an urgent need for better public education about spirituality, so people become informed enough to be able to distinguish between the serious stuff, which we desperately need to know about, and the crazed fundamentalist raving that is causing so much social harm at present. To be able to distinguish between an attempt to inform and an attempt to convert.

And so, what is not okay is for the listener to receive communications about spirituality with a closed mind and respond to them with hate-filled derisive abuse and an attempt at cancel culture. Which is what has just happened here with the other person responding to me on this thread. With that person I will not enter into further conversation because I do not do abuse. I have considered reporting the abuse and have decided not to, since that would probably result in the comments being deleted, and I think it preferable that other people should be able to read what has happened here and make up their own minds what they think of it.

Kind regards…

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Mar 17, 2023·edited Mar 17, 2023

Regarding amorality. I can judge- for instance Trump, as amoral- which I do at times- because it seems to me that he fits the definition of having a mental condition, sociopathy.. maybe psychopathy but I think less that than the former. It follows that I cannot judge him the way I judge others who I judge as immoral or moral, or their actions as such. They are more rational in our society (according to our culture, laws, norms). Trump seems outside that, unaffected. I do not have training to make such a diagnosis, and I think there is controversy about that anyway. What's more, it cannot be done without the person from afar by any professional. There have been attempts at it. But there IS such a thing as amorality. I thought you were saying that is not so. The conclusion from this judgement of Trump (which I admit vacillates to being totally confounded more than anything by him) is that we would allow such a person to ascend to the presidency and that being so we are having so much trouble getting him away from power and influence. That is about us. It's a lesson about us and very worrisome.


Your second part is more difficult-- It seems to me that you are alluding to spiritual paths, a system/s (Maya, the Great Illusion, Steiner) that people can take to achieve a higher consciousness. There are other paths and philosophies (religions) that get you there. LSD can help too or other mind altering drugs. I find these systems very interesting and I understand where they are going more or less- to the same place.Joseph Campbell's wonderful lectures are all about this. He does not advise taking this and that from the smorgasbord, but taking one path and following it. But if you are on a path or in a system, it does make it hard to communicate to those who are not there in it with you. You also seem condescending. I said seem.

To me regarding the subject of Snyder's post here, it seems you wind up in outer space running into resistance. That you know about some higher realm does not come off well. A spiritually wise person that I knew years ago said "you cannot tell someone(anyone) something (anything) that they don't already know". This is true.( I could say that is an objective spiritual truth. ) We recognize a truth from something inside of us, or we don't, we refuse it, deny it. But it's still there. Or we think what we are hearing from someone is bullshit and we are right to dismiss it.We decide. And too, everyone has their blind side/s even the wise. (Don't abdicate!)

For me there is no spiritual world separate from the physical world. It's all one. Living awake and aware in this physical world (not easy) can be a study and practice. Everyone has access; they do not need to go full esoteric... though they can.

I have trouble with your use of the word objective.. as in communications made in an objective rational manner. I think I am trying to be rational. I don't claim to be objective. Is it possible for me to be? (sort of?) Also I have trouble with "facts about spirituality".. what facts, whose? absolute facts? What does trying to communicate "facts about spirituality" actually do for me?

You don't make a communication by saying there is a higher spirituality that you have that we do not, that you are visiting us to let us know that we poor souls with closed minds in our cancel culture have a way to go in this mere physical world... that gets a bad reaction. Worse, this discussion does not seem like an *example* of higher spirituality which would mean more. It seems more disrespectful to those of us scrounging around this world trying to communicate on our lower levels and as seen from a (your) higher plane. That is why I think Kirsten said to cut it out. It was not about spirituality per se ( I don't think) but more about your presentation, descending here to do us this favor... as if we know nothing about spirituality, as if you could tell us.

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