A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
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February 15, 2021

Dear Members & Friends,

Our photos are again from the collection of Dwight Ebaugh, and with so much of the country in full-scale winter weather, we are remaining there, too. There’s a hint of a theme to this series—call it “the presence of sentience in nature.”

a high rocky valley


We have quickly posted Lisa Romero’s webinar from last Friday in our store (free, donations welcomed). “The Spiritual Origins of Conspiracy” is “an exploration of the higher perspective on the current energies at play in our world,” and Lisa reminds us that the highest level conspiracy is the one to conceal from humanity the existence of the spiritual world. — We should also mention Lisa’s February 20th program from EduCareDo: “Nature Spirits and Elementals, Our Task and Theirs in the Elemental World: Elementals are deeply united to changes in climate and biodiversity. The balance of our world is their task as well as ours.”

Our program team also wants you to know that a 12-part program with Mary Stewart Adams will start May 17th: “The New Images of the Zodiac in the Cycle of the Year.” Watch for emailed details; registration opens in April.

And “save the date” for a Sophia Conference in April, 2022. Yes, save the whole month!

heart-shaped lichen colony on a rock


While the Youth Section and Agriculture Sections at the Goetheanum held their livestreamed “Breathing with the Climate Crisis” conference last Thursday through Sunday, the Youth Section in North America organized a complementary “Open-Pollinator Future Lab: a conversation across North America on Youth+Agriculture.” This involved three ninety-minute programs in late-afternoon or early evening, after lights-out in Switzerland. 

“As we decided to co-create with the impulse from Dornach, we were already carrying the question of how to connect and make visible the young Bio-Dynamic farmers in North America. At the same time there is an increasingly urgent reality that older Bio-Dynamic farms and the bold idealists who founded them are looking at the future of their land, work and research, having neither fully shared the wisdom both practical and spiritual they have grown into relationship with, nor found young people to carry on their mission.” 

Do look at the NA website pages, for the continental events and for the happenings across the Atlantic. (A bonus is an agreeable demonstration of “cursive” writing.)

One pollinator presentation was by Walter Goldstein who, after 25 years at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in Wisconsin, founded the Mandaamin Institute. We have Walter’s paper and are very glad to offer it in PDF form. “I would like to share with you three discoveries and actions I am involved with that are critical for addressing these crises with healthy agricultural solutions literally from the ground up. These are: 1) partnership breeding, 2) direct observation of the life of the soil, and 3) finding new forms for commercialization and cooperative work. This work I am going to tell you about is new and incomplete and it needs help from younger people to thrive and grow into the world. ... If you are interested in our work and helping to foster it in some way, feel free to contact me and to visit our website.”

mountain view with stacked rocks

The Pfeiffer Center is part of the Threefold Community in Rockland County, in the northern suburbs of New York City. It is named for an outstanding student of Rudolf Steiner, Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, who brought biodynamic farming to life in North America and had a laboratory in the Threefold Auditorium. The Center collaborates on a farm owned by the Fellowship Community, and is currently inviting applications for a three-month summer farm internship, prerequisite for a nine-month extended internship. “Our Summer Interns experience an intense immersion into the work of an active, diversified, community-based farm through the busy summer season. Summer Interns learn about the biodynamic method of agriculture and land care while doing market-garden and field-scale vegetable production. Other learning opportunities include cow care, milking, and handling raw milk; greenhouse methods; and much more!” All in a diverse and long-established anthroposophical community.


Coming out of last September’s “How We Will 2020” was an impulse to create ALIANT, a US equivalent to the ELIANT alliance organized by Dr. Michaela Glöckler and others in 2006, to work for applied anthroposophy in the unique bureaucracy of the European Union. To learn more about the ALIANT project email Dottie Zold and Frank Agrama. The latest success of our friends across the ocean, working with the Alliance for a Humane Education, has been to gather 96,294 signatures on a petition to the EU Commission affirming that “humane education requires non-digital learning” and to “petition for screen-free kindergartens and primary schools.” —Background: The EU Commission has adopted a “Digital Education Action Plan (2021- 2027).” At its core is the “promotion of a high-performing digital education ecosystem” and the “enhancement of digital skills and competences for digital transformation.” In this context AHE and ELIANT emphasize in their report that “with regard to digitalisation it is vital that the human and real-world educational needs of children are taken into account.”

moose foraging in a snowy wood


For many of us, the late Gene Gollogly will live in memory hovering and chatting over yards of new publications alongside this or that conference, or at his own research seminars at New York Univeristy in Greenwich Village. But in the last ten-to-eleven months, such book tables have been as scarce as face-to-face gatherings. So it’s time to remind you that our publishers are continuing their brilliant work. Sevak Gulbenkian of the UK’s Rudolf Steiner Press and Temple Lodge Publications asked whether we might share his latest PDF catalog. And John Scott Legg of SteinerBooks (see their latest catalog) confirmed that they have the new RSP/Temple Lodge books in stock here in the USAalong with their own imprints.

A few examples:
Rudolf Steiner: Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science, volumes 1-4; with English and German texts printed side by side, plates with Rudolf Steiner’s handwritten notes of the mantras and reproductions of his original color blackboard drawings.
Ueli Hurter and Justus Wittich (Ed.): Perspectives and Initiatives in the Times of Coronavirus from The School of Spiritual Science.
Judith von Halle: The Coronavirus Pandemic, Anthroposophical Perspectives. The author suggests that, apart from the material havoc triggered by coronavirus, the spiritual causes behind it are extremely serious.
Dr Bob Woodward: Knowledge of Spirit Worlds and Life After Death As Received Through Spirit Guides.
Sergei O. Prokofieff: Rudolf Steiner, Fragment of a Spiritual Biography (reviewed in the forthcoming print edition of being human by Stephen Usher, PhD).
Are Thoresen: The Lucifer Deception, The Yellow Emperor Unveiled; Secrets of Traditional Oriental Medicine.
Michel Montaud: The Wisdom of Teeth — Dentosophy.
Henk Van Oort: Your Spiritual Journey, A Travel Guide; Anthroposophical Aspects of Changing Human Consciousness.
Yeshayahu (Jesaiah) Ben-Aharon: The Twilight and Resurrection of Humanity; The History of the Michaelic Movement since the Death of Rudolf Steiner (also reviewed in the next being human). 

Rudolf Steiner’s Collected Works in English continue with volume 129: Wonders Of The World Trials of the Soul, Revelations of the Spirit. Lectures include: ‘The origin of dramatic art in European cultural life and the Mystery of Eleusis’; ‘The living reality of the spiritual world in Greek mythology and the threefold Hecate’; ‘Nature and spirit’; ‘The entry of the Christ Impulse into human evolution and the activity of the planetary gods’; ‘The merging of the ancient Hebrew and the Greek currents in the Christ-stream’; ‘The ego-nature and the human form’; ‘The Dionysian Mysteries’; ‘Eagle, Bull and Lion currents, Sphinx and Dove’; ‘The two poles of all soul-ordeals’; and ‘On Goethe’s birthday’. The freshly revised text features an introduction, notes and appendices by Professor Frederick Amrine, color images, and an index.

deer before trees


The Sacramento Faust Branch holds Wednesday winter meetings on Zoom (7:30pm Pacific with informal conversation at 7:15), and has been turning its attention again to spiritual questions about this country: Exploring the Spiritual-Historical Background of America. “Some members of our local community have been studying the Templar impulses and Carl Stegmann’s work in his book The Other America.” Stegmann came late in life to California, and his interest in our situation led to the creation of Rudolf Steiner College. Recent branch meetings looked at Geographic Medicine, The Spiritual Geography of America, A Native American Voice, and Founding Impulses. Coming up next on Feb. 24: Esoteric Background of Religions in America. Visit the branch home page for more information and links.


“Learning to Think Like a Smart Machine” is the latest essay online at Medium.com from anthroposophist Boyd Collins, “Web developer for 26 years. I write about how to find freedom from distraction and weave a harmonious tapestry of life.” In our last print being human he wrote “The Key to Digital Freedom: Learning to Deal with Discomfort.” Now Boyd is asking, “Are our smart devices conditioning us toward a new type of social order?” Or to put it more bluntly, “harvesting human minds” is beginning at a very early age. “The more we treat machines as if they were people, the easier it becomes to treat people like machines. Consider the aptly named ‘Hello Barbie,’ billed as the world’s first interactive doll. ‘Hello Barbie’ is programmed to make the following pitch to her young subjects, ‘I’d love to learn more about you. Oh, I know! Let’s make a game of it. The game’s called Family Town! We’re gonna pretend all your family members run different shops in a make-believe town! I’ll be a visitor and you’ll show me around! … Researchers have shown that the doll was designed to harvest children’s responses to Barbie’s skilled interrogations. Once processed using machine intelligence, their answers can feed algorithmically-driven advertising strategies. However, Barbie also seems to be building a special type of relationship with her companions that suggests a more far-reaching agenda. ...” Keep reading here, and consider following Boyd on Medium.com.

squirrel on bench

We had mentioned previously that the Portland (Oregon) Branch was looking for a space to house a library of 3,000 books along with human get-togethers. Anthroposophical initiatives are wonderfully generous in offering space, but “a room of one’s own” creates new possibilities. And now, success! A good space and necessary support are coming together. “Accessibility to Anthroposophy, and to our many wonderful books, seems to us an important offering in these times, when many are isolated or in especially difficult circumstances. In addition to serving existing members, we hope to create a beacon for those who are seeking Anthroposophy (whether or not they know it yet).” Naturally enough, the Portland website has gotten cranky just now, so just email if you have questions or want to offer encouragement.

Another tip of the hat to Dwight Ebaugh for his photos.

Thank you for reading, and be well!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

man in red jacket among the rocks

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