A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
banner image - being more consciously human

August 15, 2020

Dear Members & Friends,

Greetings in the “dog days” of summer. Our summer-fall print issue of being human is at the post office, on its way to members, though the speed of delivery may be slower than usual.

 It will be posted online in a couple of weeks with the new feature that main articles will be separated out and readable on your phone. That is being done now for past issues, at www.issuu.com/anthrousa. Just click the box to show stories.

The new issue features several articles related to our present moment. Paul Gierlach writes on “Four Domains of a Healthy Culture,” a real find in Rudolf Steiner’s lectures. Dennis Dietzel takes on “Virtual Presence, Social Distancing.” Boyd Collins explores “How can we master the flow of our attention online?” And Christopher Schaefer addresses “Sacramental Conversation: Experiencing Our Humanity,” an article based in part on a talk to members of the North American Council for Anthroposophical Curative Education and Social Therapy. 

There are also contributions to help engage the Foundation Stone Meditation from four Sections of the School for Spiritual Science.

Eric Utne memoir - Far Out Man
Anthroposophy and the counter-culture is the marriage that didn't happen. But one notable connection was made by Eric Utne, founder of Utne Reader, a major voice of all that searching by the baby-boomer generation. As for many, it was his kids and Waldorf Education that brought him to Rudolf Steiner’s initiative for a new global civilization, and his booklet about our movement, included in Utne Reader about 20 years ago, was an enormous boost. Now Eric has written a memoir, Far Out Man, “the story of how I learned to read the spirit of the times, and what I saw. It’s also the story of how I lost that gift, what happened when I did, and how I found it again.” Here is the Utne page on Amazon.
PS - Utne, he says, does mean “far out” in Norwegian.
Free Columbia Puppet Troupe
Free Columbia Puppet Troupe presents “The Bird Hunters of Anthropocenia” – an open air puppet show, written and directed by Nathaniel Williams, original music by Aldo Lavaggi, with Dancing Hands Puppet Troupe. This series of outdoor gatherings for up to 40 people requires reservations (link above). Performances are Water Street, Hudson, NY, Saturday, Aug 15, 6:30 pm, Sunday, Aug 16, 6:30 pm, and Thursday, Aug 20, 6:30 pm; and New Water Street, Athens, NY, Friday Aug 21, 6:30 pm, Saturday Aug 22, 6:30 pm.
Educaredo logo
EduCareDo has announced five new work-at-your-own-pace, distance-learning courses to deepen understanding of anthroposophy. They use the same form of accessible, experiential, self-directed learning as offered in its Foundation Course for the last 18 years. New courses (and authors) in agriculture and nutrition (Anthony Mecca), inner development for world development (Lisa Romero), speech and drama as living arts (Séamus Maynard and Meaghan Witri), transforming society (Seth Jordan), and painting and color (Laura Summer) are available for about $330 for each year-long course. Tutors offer support and feedback as each participant works their way through a course.
Athena overcomes a pre-Olympian god

History says don’t hope,
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
—Seamus Heaney, a stanza
The Cure at Troy
in the Greater Washington (DC) Branch e-news


Teton Mountains, Wyoming, August


As we ripen in the individuality that makes us human, we pass through stages that are not cooperative, not compassionate. We are trying to think our own thoughts, feel our own feelings. As the great rabbi Hillel asked in the first of his three questions, “If I am not for myself, who then will be for me?”

But of course there is a second question: “If I am only for myself, what good am I?” Just so the two “great commandments” Jesus affirmed were to love God (the cosmic, creative “I am”) with your whole heart mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

That interaction of ‘I’ with ‘I’ is the most essential teaching-learning process in the development of true selfhood and full humanity. And Hillel had a third question: “If not now, when?”

There are great historical stages of the ‘I’-becoming-present in human beings at large. Back in Egyptian times, three and four thousand years ago, we were living into our sense experiences, a penetration into one’s “astral” body. This is reflected in the Egyptian way of expressing the divinity, the higher consciousness, behind day and night, in animals, in phenomena of all kinds.

In the time of Greeks and Romans the ‘I’ came into relationship with the “etheric” body of life and formative forces. Then we felt our own being and awoke to its relationships – and the relationship of things outside ourselves. We began to think, to have intelligence.

The current stage, about six hundred years into its two-thousand year span, brings the ‘I’ into relationship with our physical and mineral body. We are awakening to the different qualities of consciousness itself. And we have become materialists in our thinking, explaining everything out of matter and its characteristics, developing the discipline of objective thinking.

But we must not get stuck in materialism; we can compensate for its amazingly powerful but narrowed perspectives with a new awakening to the reality of consciousness, spirit, and the heights we have still to climb to gain our full humanity.

Waldorf Publications home page
The former “Why Waldorf Books&More”  is now Waldorf Publications, with a new online store. Some titles, like Immersion Learning: A Travelogue, present basic techniques. Into the World  is a new report on “how Waldorf graduates fare after high school.” If those are the blossoms, roots are explored in The History of Waldorf Education Worldwide 1919-1945, a tribute to the pioneer generation. Prof. Fred Amrine reveals the philosophical roots in Kicking Away the Ladder: seeking new thinking to produce new social forms. Need help for your middle school or teenager? Betty Staley's Tending the Spark aims to help you find and nurture the spark of your “tween”. Like biography and science? A Brief History of Chemistry is out in a new edition. Visit waldorfpublications.org
How We Will Chicago 2020
Invitation and Registration are now open for How We Will 2020, August 27-30 in Chicago, online and in person. The theme this year is Forming Curative Communities: actively uniting with one another to reshape the ills plaguing humanity into a healthy social organism for our time. With Michaela Gloeckler of the Medical Section in Dornach and Allianz ELIANT, Bart Eddy of Brightmoor Makers and Sunbridge, Kait Ziegler of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, John Bloom of RSF Social Finance and the Anthropsophical Society, Nicanor Perlas long time advocate for social change in the Philippines and youth mentor, Laura Summer of Free Columbia, Hazel Archer-Ginsberg of Reverse Ritual blog and the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, Dottie Zold and Frank Agrama of Elderberries, and many more...
Youth Section study
NAYS Study 2020 - Come study with the North America Youth Section! “A way into working with mantras” Approx. eight months bi-weekly study of The Foundation Stone, a guide by Willem Zeylmans Van Emmichoven. Tentative format: read the chapter on your own, come together bi-weekly. Monday evenings 6pm-7pm EST/ 3pm-4pm PST. Initial date August 24th, then September 7th, September 21st, October 5th, October 19th, November 2nd, November 16th ... through March 2021. If you would like to join the study and need a book, contact the friends at northamerican youthsection [at] gmail.com.
California Trail, August

The pictures this time are from August out west, in California, above, and Wyoming, the Tetons, further up.

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

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

Previous e-news are available online.

Quick reminder link:

Applied Anthroposophy: check our our new year-long program, starting in September!

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