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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
One might observe an illustration or an actual example of an “odd shaped” building at a Waldorf School or at some other such institution associated with Anthroposophy (The Study of Humanity) and the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner. The Second Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, the design of which was developed by several architects according to the indications of Dr Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the worldwide Anthroposophical movement, is almost certainly the most widely known (and archetypical) example of living-organic architecture. In order to appreciate the true nature of living-organic architecture, one must as a starting point embrace, or at least be open to, the existence of non-material or spiritual realms, as living-organic architecture is conceived of as an expression of forces at work that are non-material and not physically measurable. Fortunately, if one closely observes nature and life on earth with an open mind for the least while one is soon led in this direction. Living-organic architecture, then, whilst respecting the pragmatic basis of all good architectural design, is achieved when the designer “gets out of the way” and allows the forces that are at work in the design of the natural world to guide the hand in bringing to expression the outer forms of the building or the buildings that are being created. The basis of this process is a state of mind of being in service to those realms that we recognise as being of a higher order than ourselves. One is tempted to compare. In doing so, our limited thinking initially operates in terms of comparing the outward forms of living-organic architecture with the known more rectilinear outward forms of “conventional” architecture, calling the former, perhaps, more “sculptural”. However, the forces that we invite into the formative process when creating living-organic architecture are of a realm without time or space, and Rudolf Steiner indicated to us that forces of movement work behind the formative forces that are themselves at work in shaping this architecture. “ ‘We enter with reverence into the spirit in order that we may become one with the spirit that is poured out in forms around us, and these forms move because the Spirits of Movement stand behind the Spirits of Form.’ So speaks the idea of the new architecture!” – Rudolf Steiner, “Ways to a New Style in Architecture” Lecture 3, Dornach, 28 June 1914. All architecture is, of necessity (and due … Continue reading
Die Einleitung unsesres Vademecums in einer kurzen Skizze fur van Leer niedergeschrieben. Rudolf Steiner 1923.
Translation from Rundbrief Nr1, Medical section, Goetheanum, Switzerland by H.M. Hogerzeil
‘ What are the intentions of our new medical method?
The new medical method made public here distinguishes itself from the old one through a different knowledge of man. The old method based on the natural scientific conceptions of the modern age wishes to gain knowledge of man by analyzing the physical organization and reconstructing it intellectually. Continue reading
written by Rudolf Steiner approx 1888, translated from the German by Robert Sturmheit. The world of ideas is the primary source and the principle of existence. In it is infinite harmony and blissful peace. Existence not enlightened by it, would be dead and lifeless, and would play no part in the totality of the world. Only that, which recognizes its existence as having originated from the idea, means something, as far as the universal tree of creation is concerned. The idea is the spirit, which in itself is clear and lucid and independently satisfied with itself. The individual must have the spirit within himself, otherwise he will drop like a dry leaf from said tree, and he would have existed for no good reason, and without purpose. The human being but feels and recognizes himself as an individual only once he has awakened to full consciousness. In this process, he has implanted the longing for the idea. This longing drives him to overcome his selfishness, and to let the spirit be revived within him, and to be in conformity with it.