A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America


banner image - being more consciously human

January 30, 2021

Dear Members & Friends,

Candlemas, better known in the USA as Groundhog’s Day, is almost upon us (February 2nd). While there has been much wintry weather (it is six degrees F. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this early morning), the return of the light is quite cheering. The Candlemas thought tells us we are halfway between the winter solstice when the day is shortest and the spring equinox when day and night are of equal duration. The groundhog is more aligned with the farm and garden concern of how warm will it be for the second half of winter.

In this newsletter we have notes on two ASA offerings and we will catch up on some happenings at the Goetheanum. There will also be some information on the forthcoming print edition of being human which is mailed to members. Also, our photos are from Dwight Ebaugh, a General Council member whose term limit is arriving, a highly valued Treasurer of the Society, and an active member of the Great Lakes Branch. Thank you, Dwight!

Winter path with bench

The Spiritual Origins of Conspiracy

Our program team invites you to join us Friday February 12, 2021 for a one-time Zoom event with Lisa Romero as she speaks to “The Spiritual Origins of Conspiracy.” It will be recorded and a link distributed to all who register by February 11th. (Times? US Pacific 1pm and Eastern 4pm. Also 9pm GMT, 10pm CET, or 8am the next day in Sydney, Australia.) This event is free with suggested donation between $10-$40. Register here.

“The forces at play in our changing world are working towards a variety of conflicting goals. Navigating truth and lies has become a part of our daily reality that wear upon our time, energy and attention. Spiritual science differs fundamentally from the natural sciences in its ability to seek the origin of the forces and facts that influence our daily life, and our evolving being within the spiritual world. Recognizing the spiritual forces at play can help us move forward with compassion and conscience and lead us towards greater connectedness with all that supports healthy development.”

Web of bare branches overhead

The Social Life of Money

Laura Scappaticci talks with John Bloom, author, artist, and General Secretary of the ASA. They discuss the binary narrative present in the US today and how listening, connection, and personal initiative can begin to refresh and repair all realms of life in 2021. The latest in “The Anthroposopher” series of podcasts. Listen free on SoundCloud.

Winter woods

The Goetheanum in Dornach near Basel, Switzerland, has been expanding its multi-lingual and online offerings rapidly while dealing with on-and-off restrictions due to the pandemic. The youth summer gathering below will obviously be subject to travel and quarantine restrictions.

Goetheanum Studies

Our own Virginia Sease, the first US member of the Goetheanum executive council (now emerita), started “English Weeks” in Dornach in the 1990s, and after 2000 launched a study program in English. Today the Goetheanum Anthroposophy Studies offer joint courses in English and separate interactive study work in German, English, French, and Portuguese/Spanish. Follow this link to see their February offering, “28 Days of Insights, Art and Encounter”, and to contact them for future offerings.

Mystery Dramas at the Goetheanum

Rudolf Steiner said of his mystery dramas that, while his books necessarily described general cases, these plays present artistically transformed but actual situations of real individuals. Despite lengthy preparation the four plays could not be performed in December, so the cast created film and audio materials. “Included in the documentary are introductions to the scenes and conversations between ensemble members about their experience with this work and its relation to current challenges. The vignettes and impressions from the Dramas are loosely arranged and assembled. They do not constitute a documentation of the production but try to capture something of the relationships among the protagonists and of the way individual performers approach the Dramas. — The lectures that would have been given as part of the performance at Christmas can also be accessed online. You can hear two lectures by Peter Selg, one on the original background of the Mystery Dramas in connection with the Anthroposophical Society and a second one on the working of evil in the Dramas and in relation to our time. Wolfgang Held, in his lecture, speaks on the present constellation of Jupiter and Saturn as a ‘call for the cosmic I’.” Click here for more details and to view a short introductory video.

Youth and Agriculture Sections Climate Conference

Our last e-news mentioned the remarkable offering from the Natural Science Section of ten programs from the October Climate Conference at the Goetheanum. Now from the Youth and Agriculture Sections comes an online conference “Breathing with the Climate Crisis” from February 11-14. — “Knowing that real life encounter never can be replaced, the conference will have some experimental and unfamiliar elements... you will meet and talk to interesting, committed people from all over the world. You will make new contacts and meet up with long-standing friends and companions. You will listen to inspiring, moving and in-depth presentations. You will stroll on a (virtual) tour round the Goetheanum and work on the Michael Letter... This will, we hope, support you after the conference to make a contribution to a vibrant, connected future for agriculture, humanity and the earth in these turbulent times.” Full details here.

Youth Section summer research program

Also from the Youth Section there is planned a (Re)Search Summer School “for young people of all backgrounds, regardless of previous academic experience. It is recommended for the curious, interested spirit who seeks answers to their questions and want to find approaches that will lead them to unveil new mysteries as they emerge in their research.” — The leaders include several familiar names: Andrea De La Cruz, who spoke at our 2019 conference in Atlanta; Dr. Constanza Kaliks who leads the Youth Section and co-directs the General Anthroposophical Section at the Goetheanum; Ioana Viscrianu, a psychologist active in the Youth Section; Dr. Joaquin Muñoz of the University of Augsburg, Arizona whose interests include teaching, learning, language and literacy policies and practices, and the experience of marginalized youth; Johannes Kronenberg from the Netherlands who has been involved in strategic sustainability work; and Dr. Nathaniel Williams, co-founder of Free Columbia, director of the M.C. Richards Program in Philmont, NY, and a member of the ASA General Council. Find out more at this link.

Freezing spillway of a dam

A final note: the winter-spring print edition of being human goes to the post office soon. It is mailed free to all members, and appears in a few months as an online PDF. If you are thinking of joining the Society, you can do so here this weekend, and be included in the mailing for this edition.

The cover and gallery showcase some of the beautiful work of Martina Angela Müller, and there is a special “Sophia Mosaic” assembled by Signe Eklund Schaefer from the Sophia group that formed after the Atlanta conference. There are essays on music, eurythmy, and yielding (from a dramatic background), and reviews about Karl König in America, Sergei Prokofieff’s book on Rudolf Steiner, and Yeshayahu Ben-Aharon’s latest work on the spiritual timelines for the 21st century. “And much more.”

Thank you for reading, and be well! A tip of the hat to Dwight Ebaugh for his photos; warmer ones are on the way. And best wishes to all the groundhogs in Pennsylvania.

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

Quick links:

Check the event calendar for seasonal offerings
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Previous e-news are available online.

Past print issues of being human are also available online. Check the box “Show stories inside” for mobile-friendly viewing of individual articles.

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