A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
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July 13, 2020

Dear Members & Friends,

I hope you are well, taking care of yourself and yours, and giving encouragement, inspiration, and strength wherever you can. There are so many concerns and perspectives around the Covid-19 pandemic. We have some helpful material below, including a new book and a free online eurythmy series (starts Tuesday morning).

While the situation seems to be well controlled in many other countries including Canada, the USA is struggling. The next question is reopening schools—if we can.

Renewing patience and equanimity is important, and bigger perspectives can help with that.

Sixth Epoch Watch

I sense a deep lesson in “preparing the Sixth Epoch.” Rudolf Steiner pointed out that in every age the students of “initiation science” would work to prepare the next 2160-year cultural age.

Our present Fifth Epoch is a time for developing ego strength , but that is accompanied by the deadening weight of materialism, and by anti-social feelings and actions and selfish immaturity.

The next epoch, fourteen centuries away, will bring a new social consciousness marked by 1) a complete freedom of belief and conscience, 2) a higher science, and 3) a compassion so strong that civilized people will not walk past someone else who is suffering.

The pandemic, politics, protests, and the economic crash give us lots of “head stuff”—opinions, theories, statistics; but should we leave our hearts out of this? 

If you haven’t seen too many already, here are two grievous “front-line” stories: a MD overwhelmed by inability to save her patients, and a foreign-born ER worker dying alone.

There is also lots of pain in the economic situation, and in our great enduring national lie about race. How is this part of preparing a very different future?

Cynthia Hoven - EurythmyOnline.com
The Association for Eurythmy Therapy in North America recently funded a six-part online offering for our stressful time with Cynthia Hoven of EurythmyOnline.com. Six hundred people signed up, and Cynthia is offering a six-week followup by free donation, “offering healing exercises to help you ground yourself, build forces of immunity, overcome stress and strengthen your spiritual practice.” It begins this Tuesday morning, 7/14, 8:15am Pacific or 11:15am Eastern time. More...
NASA comet picture
Neowise is a new visible comet, arriving at a timely moment. Rudolf Steiner reported a very significant role for comets in the cosmic order, and Jonathan Hilton of astrosophy.com has posted a fine report online. And we’ve posted some paragraphs from Rudolf Steiner and Elisabeth Vreede sent along by David Adams.
— The already-known comet PanSTARRS was already visiting, as noted in Hazel Archer Ginsberg's amazing Reverse Ritual blog.
— Of related interest, The StarHouse is offering several Wednesday webinars: Star Wisdom (7/15), Astrology of Plagues (7/22--7/29--8/5).
youth section logo
 Every year in February the biodynamic movement comes together at the Goetheanum in Dornach for the Agriculture Conference, and the Youth Section holds its “February Days.” On Feb 11-14 2021 these conferences will merge to become the Climate Conference 2021. 1000 participants are invited, and until 25 Aug there is a call for proposals, for example, a technical paper, a personal experience report, or a workshop, from others or yourself.
AnthroMed conference banner

The human being is a bridge
Between the past
And future existence;
The present is momentary;
The moment as bridge.
Spirit turned to soul
In matter’s shell,
It comes from the past;
Soul turning to spirit
In seed encased,
It is future bound.
Grasp the future
Through what has been,
Hope for what will become
through what is complete.
So seize what is in what will be;
So seize what will be in what is.
Rudolf Steiner for Ita Wegman,
Christmas, 24 December 1920 


leaves in closeup


The distinctly human element is the ego, self, individuality, or ‘I’—and that is a huge topic. In his vast survey of time from the point of view of consciousness, Outline of Esoteric Science, Rudolf Steiner takes us back to the start of our soul, life, and physical natures; our selfhood, egoity, begins only in this Earth stage, and it makes us human.

This means that the ego is “the baby” in our four-part constitution. Selfhood is therefore in a process of maturing; and we are not yet fully human. But this baby ‘I’ is the most powerful of our four parts. It is a drop of the great ‘I’ which is the cosmic creator power, the architect of the “beautiful order.” Through the power of the still immature ‘I’ we can eventually become co-creators of cosmos.

The ‘I’ is an organization of consciousness, not an organ of the material body. Its true nature (our “higher self”) lives in our unconscious, arranging the necessary events of our lives. It supports a reflection in our physical brain by means of which we form a sense of identity, a personality, built on the memories of what we have experienced.

At night in sleep (and between one life and the next), the ego and the soul or astral body separate from the living body and, as Steiner puts it, return to the architect’s office with a report from the building site. On waking, we strive to recall our new instructions!

Our waking life in the body, however, becomes so convincing that we commit most of our attention to it. Anthroposophy gives us the ideas which, unfolding and interconnecting in us both consciously and unconsciously, prepare for “initiation”—the point when we become conscious of our enduring, spiritual identity. Then we can work to perfect the world in a sustained way.

Since modern culture has focused now for centuries on learning about matter to the near exclusion of consciousness, it is a real challenge to engage these questions of consciousness or spirit. But we persist, because as cosmic beings we are a bridge...

100 Years of 
Anthroposophic Medicine
Anthroposophic Medicine is celebrating its hundredth anniversary. The classic annual conference at the Goetheanum has been transformed into a festive world conference in September: “Crossing Bridges – Being Human!” – an integrative art of healing which puts the human being at its centre, subject to practical experience in medicine “through the four elements, ether types, and stages of consciousness.”  Visit the Medical Section website for latest information.
International Lyre Day
International Lyre Day is July 20th, and the Lyre Association of North America is organizing a distributed, local event, asking each lyrist to join with at least one other so that the extraordinary tones of this instrument may be sounding together. Music and readings are being provided along with a short Zoom call. Channa Seidenberg, who crossed the Threshold of death on March 14th after fifty years’ devotion to the lyre, will be remembered on this, her birthday.
photo of Craig Holdrege of the Nature Institute
Through the timely efforts of Daniel Hindes, school director at the Boulder Valley Waldorf School, we have in this new book “all of Rudolf Steiner’s statements on viral illnesses and epidemics. Spanning 40+ years, they are drawn from 35 separate volumes of his Collected Works; several have never before been published in English. Newly translated from the latest German editions... an invaluable resource for anyone interested in exploring Steiner’s views on health and illness in relation to pathogens and infectious diseases.” At Amazon.


clover blossom in closeup

The leaf and flower images are taken at or around Rudolf Steiner House in Ann Arbor. The intention is to make it easier to take in the spectacular work of the etheric body of formative forces.

If you missed, or want to refer to, a previous email in this series, you can now do so on our website. At anthroposophy.org, in the menu, choose More... and then Resources/E-news.

On the page of E-news links you can leave comments, questions, suggestions; just scroll to the bottom of the page.

Thank you for reading, and for being part of this community!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

Anthroposophical Society in America (US)
1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 USA
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