Author Archives: Cecilia

From Wisdom to Love

From the research by Michael Grimley The Heart as an Organ of Cognition “The Age of Michael has dawned. Hearts are beginning to have thoughts; . . . Thoughts, which at the present time strive to grasp the Spiritual, must originate in hearts which beat for Michael as the fiery Prince of Thought in the Universe.” (1) – Rudolf Steiner Next year will introduce a period of seven years in preparation for the celebration of the Founding of the General Anthroposophical Society on Christmas Day 1923. But 2016 will also mark the centenary of one of the most significant spiritual scientific discoveries by Rudolf Steiner – that is, the direct relationship of the forces of the human soul and spirit to the three-fold system of the human body. Is there a relationship between it and the 1923 event of the laying of the Foundation Stone? According to his own account it took Rudolf Steiner thirty years of painstaking systematic spiritual scientific research to confirm the reality of this discovery as a fact of life. Only then did he feel ready to announce his findings to the world. Until his book, “The Riddle of the Soul” (2), appeared in 1917 the picture presented by the scientific world was that our faculties of thinking, feeling and willing were solely located in the nerve-sense system. Through Rudolf Steiner’s discovery a whole new dimension of understanding opened up concerning the relationship of soul and spirit to the body; particularly concerning the relationship of thinking, feeling and willing to the nerve-sense, vascular and metabolic-limb systems. A hundred years later this discovery still has yet to be embraced by the scientific establishment at large. In the meantime it has had huge impact on the development of anthroposophy and its practical application in the world. Through it the foundation of a revised anthropology was laid for renewing the arts of education and medicine. Without it, the laying of the Foundation Stone for the General Anthroposophical Society, and founding of the School of Spiritual Science might never have been possible. An example of how he applied this discovery to practical life is the series of foundation course lectures he gave to the first teachers of the Waldorf School in Stuttgart, preparatory to its opening on 7 September 1919 (3). In each of these morning lectures he presented in a comprehensive and synoptic way how soul and spirit interact … Continue reading

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Rudolf Steiner’s Christology

Rudolf Steiner’s Christology Rev. Malcolm Allsop gave a lecture to the Anthroposophical Group on Friday, 11th September. Although his talk was entitled Rudolf Steiner and Christianity Malcolm began by explaining the meaning of Christology. Christology is the study of Christ and everyone who makes a study of the Christ may have their own Christology. The lecture therefore was concerned with Rudolf Steiner’s study of the Christ, but not through a study of scripture as much as through his own study of Spiritual Science. Rudolf Steiner’s Christology can be divided into three time-spans: firstly the period up to the birth of Jesus; secondly the 33 years of the life of Jesus; and lastly the period after the Ascension. For many Christians their Christology spans only the period from the Conception to the Ascension and they view Christ as having sat at the right hand of God ever since. Malcolm firstly gave us some insights into the life of Rudolf Steiner, taken from Steiner’s autobiography, from the time he was a young boy up to the start of World War I, of the people, events and places that shaped and influenced him. Steiner had an inner experience at the end of the 19th century of “standing before the Mystery of Golgotha” that shaped his teaching in Berlin in the early part of the 20th century. Steiner made a significant remark that it is necessary to wrestle with the teachings of Nietzsche in order to bring Christianity into future centuries. Malcolm took Steiner’s Christology back to the separation of the Sun from the Earth. At this point a group of beings under the leadership of a Sublime Being left the Earth with the Sun and continued to guide the development of the Ego of the human being from the Sun. Steiner does not directly say that this Sublime Being is the Christ but the indication is very strong. During Lemuria the Christ worked through the guise of an Archangel teaching humanity uprightness. During Atlantis Christ taught humanity the ability to speak. Steiner tells us how in the post-Atlantean epochs the Christ drew ever closer to the Earth and worked through the spiritual leaders of each epoch – the Rishis, Zarathustra, etc. These spiritual leaders kept the teachings secret and shared them only with selected followers. The Druidic teachings prepared Ireland to receive the teachings of the Christ. The deed of Golgotha was a … Continue reading

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Nelson Mandela’s address Bongolethu Primary School

Nelson Mandela’s Address on 9 May 1996 at the Bongolethu Primary School Recorded by John Coates and transcribed by Noy Pullen In the early 1990’s people in search of employment and a better life for themselves and their children left their rural regions for the cities. Crowded squatter camps mushroomed overnight with no infrastructure and no provision for the education of their children. Concerned parents took the initiative and started informal schools run by untrained teachersin whatever kind of accommodation was at hand. John Coates, member of the Anthroposophical Society and known for his therapeutic work with puppets in the communities, together with other colleagues of Novalis Institute Community School Outreach programme, assisted teachers of these community schools with practical classroom activities flowing from Waldorf Education. One of these schools, Bongolethu Community School, was chosen as part of President Nelson Mandela’s project to renovate schools in need of urgent attention. Woolworths provided the funding for this renovation and President Nelson Mandela was invited to visit and address the school and the community on 9 May 1996. When Mr Mandela had taken his seat on the stage, and while he was being introduced, he was approached by one of his aides and immediately rose and left the stage. On returning to the stage after about 30 minutes, visibly angry and upset, he went straight to the podium and addressed the audience in Xhosa. Having greeted the dignitaries he spoke off the cuff. Then after some time he addressed the audience in English: I have just been called by Mr de Klerk, the second deputy president of the African National Congress, and he has announced that the National Party is going to pull out of the Government of National Unity as from 30th June this year. I thanked him for his contribution. But the ANC is supremely confident that we are going to carry the government of this country. We were generous because we wanted this transformation to be smooth and peaceful. We wanted to build national unity and to promote the spirit of reconciliation. We have done that. We wanted to continue with that until 1999, not after. But the National Party has decided to step out. But what I was saying was that in the election of 1994 the Inkatha Freedom Party polled at 10% of the total votes cast in the election and in terms of the interim constitution … Continue reading

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Hans Georg Krauch

Hans Georg Krauch 1927-2014 Hans Georg Krauch passed over the threshold on 6 June 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany. His role in furthering the development of Waldorf Education and the Anthroposophical Movement in South and East Africa from the late 1970s to the 1990s was considerable – particularly in the Western Cape. Background Hans Georg Krauch was born on 1 June 1927 in Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, and grew up in Giessen close to Frankfurt. His parents were early members of the Anthroposophical Society. His father founded the local branch in Giessen following the advice of Friedrich Rittelmeyer. He was twelve years old when the catastrophe of World War II broke out. In 1944, just on turning seventeen, he was called up for military service as the allied armies landed in Normandy. He was captured in the last days of the war and placed in a French prisoner of war camp in Attachy with 200 000 German soldiers. Conditions were harsh, with much physical deprivation and hunger. After his release he made his way home, finding it bombed, his father in an American prisoner-of-war camp – but at least both parents alive. Over the next seven years he studied Waldorf teacher training in Stuttgart, teaching a Class 6 with 56 children, continuing his studies at university in Frankfurt, and further teaching to Class 8. He married Gabriele Frey, a fellow student at the Stuttgart training seminar, and had two children before a catastrophic event intervened in his life. At the age of 26 he was struck with polio with both legs paralysed, and hospitalised followed by two years of curative support. Three years after the event Gabriele gave birth to their third child. Because of this radical challenge to his life he deliberately changed his academic teaching subjects to focus on the training of the will. He revised his studies to become a woodwork teacher at the Frankfurt Waldorf School. For the next twenty two years Hans Georg taught, supporting himself with crutches. In 1966 he took over from Dr. Hagen Biesantz as director of the Frankfurt Arbeitzentrum (Work Centre) for the Anthroposophical Society in Germany, when the latter took up his position on the Executive Council of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum. The following year Hans Georg joined the Representatives Circle of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. In the early seventies he started his teacher training activities in Stuttgart and Witten, … Continue reading

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Some poems by Jane Fox

Some poems by Jane Fox (aka Jane Abrahams), an anthroposophist and poet living in Johannesburg. THE DIVINE TETRAMORPH (A composite figure combining the symbols of the 4 Evangelists: Bull, Lion, Eagle, Man) SONG OF THE FIRST BEAST I’m here here in the labyrinth of your mind you know my name. See my shadow huge on the wall horned head and sloping shoulders however you twist and turn double back along the passages try to dash for freedom you’ll feel my breath on your neck stumble on the bones of those I’ve devoured. Quail, Soul, for I have invaded your will. Rise from your abject crouch and look at me. No? Not a muscle moves I have sucked out your strength I have turned your bones to water I am drinking your will, Soul, for I am parched. We are walled in you with me and I with you and the labyrinth is growing soon it will fill the whole world and my Keeper the king of it! But I am ill, Soul – starved by eating flesh. This flesh is poison but I must eat it – I am an eater of flesh and spirit Fear me, Soul, fear me! I hear you, Beast, and I call you by your name. Up there in the starry heights of heaven was once your place – there between the Ram and the Twins. Once you were provider and nourisher friend of the plough and furrow – You are so sad in these stinking tunnels. What’s that? You dare to pity Me? I dare to pity you, Beast, for we are both star-born. Go then! But first take me by the forelock lead me out to the light and air let me eat grass again, O Soul, and sweet hay.   SONG OF THE SECOND BEAST Why do you pray, O Soul? your prayers do not go anywhere for as we know in this enlightened age there is no god – nothing to revere So why do you kneel, Soul? all you’ll get is sore knees It makes you feel good, all that praying? meditating on the one-ness of all and devoutly speaking the mantrams? It’s a sham, Soul. If you believe all that you’re a fool, and the world will laugh at you Come, admit you’ve outgrown all that claptrap Better still use it to get rich the Gun hand in glove … Continue reading

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Threshold encounters of human beings during times of challenge in their lives. Carole Penfold, registered nurse, working out of anthroposophy was interviewed recently about her threshold work, and shared these subtle experiences NURSING INSPIRED BY ANTHROPOSOPHY – an interview with Carole Penfold My whole life has been an exploration of the gifts of nursing and music The Sue Barton books inspired my childhood. I had matrons and sisters who knew that besides the practical skills of nursing, something else begs you on another level. They were the custodians of healing. Observing both nurses and patients today one becomes aware of barrenness; they are bereft as if their souls have no point of reference. Today we send people into the spiritual world drug-abused, as this is the only solution we have. Through anthroposophy my meditations become daily nourishment for my work. It is not so much what I do that matters, but more what I think about what I do. My guiding matrons are now the angels, who help me perceive what is trying to happen in the life of a patient – who may be dying – or not, and my part in that: how to assist the family and the patient to let go of what stands in the way of the healing, and that healing that will take place if they will allow themselves to receive it. When there is less outer activity, observation becomes acute. How can I make possible for each one to receive what they need from each other in the family or institution? I observe that I am like the conductor in an orchestra, bringing up the flutes, calming down the cellos and encouraging the violins so that the trumpets are not too loud. The rhythmic massage technique brings together in me the gifts of healing and music. It gives the patient a life force. You need a life force for as long as possible, even if you are dying. I experience , in patients who have been living with dementia for years, a frozen edge within them which alone strives to keep them going; such people really need to have a qualitative ‘walking beside’ – a healing touch through massage or other therapy, regularly, to help maintain their dignity and thereby an ‘inner knowing of self’. Cameos living in people can give clues to the question ‘How do I help find the way … Continue reading

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Business practices in the light of Anthroposophy.

Business practices in the light of Anthroposophy. David Wertheim Aymes Chief Executive Officer of the Bosun Group shares ideas on how one can turn the mission statement of any company into a reality, how to assist in the process of transforming ideas into reality in terms of efficiency and quality products. “The most exciting aspect of business is that our ideas become reality. If we have no ideas, then some other reality happens that is not what we want. So let’s have clarity, simple clear ideas, on what we want out of production and let’s give our staff the chance to have the clarity and skill too. This way we will move towards the reality that we have has an idea. Our customers will get what they want when they want it.” Inspired by the basic book ‘Knowledge of Higher Worlds’ written by Dr Rudolf Steiner, David has developed various exercises with his staff to develop the process of transforming clear simple constructive ideas into reality. AN IMAGINATION by David Wertheim Aymes Magic begins when I find realities in the simple things around us – in my ability to objectively meet the world with love and openness and with basic, grounded, discipline of soul, exercised by the ‘’I’. Copper Can we confirm that what we see is actually a consequence of a spiritual activity? In collecting the facts about copper, with an open mind, we may for example discover the following broad facts: Five hundred years ago, or around 1500 AD, copper was found in utensils and jewellery. Most copper reserves were under the ground in an unprocessed form. In the 1800’s copper was present in many more physical locations e.g. for lighting. In the early 1900’s copper was even more widely visible above the surface of the earth wherein it had lain for millennia in cars, water pipes on trains, more utensils, in many homes, not only of the rich. In the late 1900’s copper was everywhere – in kettles, fridges, computers, household wiring, every street light and every radio. If we consider how the various copper products got there, we can determine the following. Firstly, the original copper items were rough and large. In the early 1900’s copper was used in an immense number of electrical cable installations that required a lot more processing than utensils did. More recently, copper is found in very fine and processed forms, … Continue reading

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The Four Temperaments

David Wertheim Aymes The combination of the elements of earth, water, air and fire affect the temperament of each human being in a unique way, one element tends to dominate while another has hardly any influence at all. I use this when considering people for positions. It is very real that people influence their environment. This influence does not usually come from their physical size or competence unless they are in a boxing ring for example. As flippant as this may appear, it is not. We underestimate the effect of our consciousness, or lack thereof, on our environment. Different temperaments influence things in different ways. Temperaments can be overcome by an individual, but to the extent that they are not, it is important to recognise the effect of the temperament on the social level, and what to expect from the influence of different temperaments. Influence here is meant to describe the formative nature of the temperament on the way things start to manifest with that temperament present. For example, one should not place a Sanguine in charge of routine; neither should one assign a choleric to visit customers. Where there is need for detail and measurement, melancholics will naturally be good as they are very observant to detail, and care, even if it arises out of concern rather than freedom. Having too many of any one temperament together leads to the dominance of this temperament with the associated manifestation in the quality of interaction that the customer experiences. Too many phlegmatics together would lead to a contented bunch of staff that enjoys the environment, while product innovation might really suffer. Temperaments must be considered as one of the most important measurement tools when selecting staff or a team of people. Cholerics (Fire) Cholerics are usually physically strong, with short and thick legs, arms, and necks. Their fingers too will be short and thick. They will say the consonants strongly and will say abarakadabara rather as KArabaraDAbara with a very strong K to start with, and maybe even a sharp D to make sure that their word is carried right through to the end like a kind of second wind. They walk in straight lines with quick short steps that attack the ground with heels first.Socially they are loud and fearless. They take others head on with their opinions and are concerned about winning arguments. They tend to explode when others … Continue reading

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The New Dialogue with the Spirit of the Earth

The attached essay ‘The New Dialogue with the Spirit of the Earth’ by Geert Suwelack  first appeared in English translation from the German in 1985.  It deals with the question of the seasons and festivals, from an Anthroposophical perspective.  Although the celebration of festivals in the southern hemisphere is a focus, the essay is of relevance to Anthroposophists living in both hemispheres in that it shows clearly how the seasonal breathing of the Earth underpins the esoteric Christian festivals. The New Dialogue with the Spirit of the Earth

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Extract from the founding lecture of the Anthroposophical Society 24 December 1923, by Rudolf Steiner Historical Perspective ‘One of the greatest possible changes took place in the spiritual world beginning in 1870 and reaching its culmination just at the turn of the century When in recent times I have met in all kinds of ways with young people in all countries of the world accessible to me I have had to say to myself over and over again: Everything that beats in these youthful hearts, everything that glows towards spiritual activity in such a beautiful and often indeterminate way, this is the external expression for what came to completion in the depths of spiritual world-weaving during the last third of the 19th century and 20th century. What the youth are searching for ‘I have frequently found, when I have gone to meet young people, that their endeavours to join one organisation or another encountered difficulties because again and again the forms of the association did not fit whatever it was that they themselves wanted. There was always some condition or other as to what sort of a person you had to be or what you had to do if you wanted to join any of these organisations. ‘The way you had to sign a form, which made it look as though you had to make some dogmatic assertion, is something which nowadays no longer agrees with the fundamental mood of human souls. The human soul today feels that anything dogmatic is foreign to it; to carry on in any kind of sectarian way is fundamentally foreign to it. No t a shred of this sectarianism must be allowed to remain in the Anthroposophical Society. A True World Society ‘The Anthroposophical Society must become a true world society. Anyone joining it must feel: Yes here I have found what moves me. An old person must feel: Here I have found something for which I have striven all my life together with other people. The young person must feel: Here I have found something which comes out to meet my youth.  When the Free Anthroposophical Society was founded I longed dearly to reply to young people who enquired after the conditions for joining it with the answer which I now want to give: The only condition is to be truly young in the sense that one is young when one’s youthful soul … Continue reading

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