The Wellspring Bookshop - Sergei Prokofieff: Myth and Reality by Irina Gordienko

Lochmann Verlag, Basel
English translation by Graham Rickett
UK distribution: The Wellspring Bookshop, London.
Price 14

This is a new publication in English of a critical examination of the work of S.O. Prokofieff, translated from the German, originally from the Russian. The author is a scientist and mathematician in her own right, with scientific publications to her credit. Taking Prokofieff to task for the gap between his interpretation of the body of Steiner's work and what Steiner himself has stated so clearly about the supersensible world, Gordienko outlines for the reader in a close step by step evaluation of Prokofieff's writings, his shortcomings, and the way in which his analysis draws a flawed picture of Anthroposophy. She makes clear the obvious discrepancies between his picture and Steiner's vision of the spiritual world and its beings, the fundamental concept of evolution and even of the Christology. The Christology is presented in an entirely new light by Prokofieff. Emphasis is placed more on a return to a group spirituality, to a morality dictated from above, rather than an autonomous thinking based on the central importance of "I" development which Rudolf Steiner again and again made fundamental to his whole teaching and which he referred to frequently as the "Christ Impulse". This is a hard hitting, closely reasoned, and razor-sharp reading of Prokofieff's thinking -- perhaps, not a book for the faint-hearted. Yet, its powerful logic is necessary study material, especially for Anthroposophists, because it has important implications for the direction of the Anthroposophical Society as a whole now that Sergei Prokofieff has been welcomed into its leadership as a member of the executive council. Lest this work be considered an unjust personal attack, let us conclude with a statement by the author:

Further she goes on to point out that: The distinction needs to made between the personal element and the objective search for the truth. As Steiner makes very clear; "a false result of investigation in the spiritual world is a living reality: it is there, and one has to battle with it, do away with it." (p. 125, English translation, 22/10/1915, GA 254).

Irina Yurievna Gordienko

Irina Yurievna Gordienko, born in Moscow in 1964, studied biology, mechanics and mathematics at Moscow State University. After the successful completion of her studies, she published a series of scientific papers on set theory and general typology in specialist publications both in Russia and abroad. Her considerable knowledge of Anthroposophy combined with her academic training led her to undertake this study of the work of Prokofieff, which led her to some surprising results. Tragically, Gordienko died in a traffic accident in 1999.