A biweekly newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
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October 26, 2021

Dear Members & Friends,

There were strong good feelings at the end of our members meeting and fall conference, October 7-10, Building the Temple of the Heart.

A new kind of meeting co-presented by the Central Regional Council, this uplifting and warming experience is now substantially available through recordings in our store. This enews will be devoted to this one topic, and we begin with the conference verse:

In my heart
Sun-strength shines,
In my soul
World-warmth works.
I will breathe
The strength of the Sun,
I will feel
The warmth of the world.
Sun-strength fills me,
World-warmth penetrates me.

    — Rudolf Steiner, Mantric Sayings, GA 268

conference opening

This was a genuine hybrid event. Hundreds registered for the online experience, and many more gathered face to face at six Central Region “hubs” which made contributions on the theme of the six basic exercises as the means for strengthening our heart forces. 

New Orleans presented on clear thinking, Austin, Texas on doing/right action, the Minnesota Twin Cities on feeling/equanimity, Northen Michigan on love/positivity, Ann Arbor on opening/open-mindedness, and Chicago and the Youth Section on thanking/inner harmony/wholeness. The varied individuals and diverse styles of presentation brought the exercises to life in many new ways.

There were also “host” locations where people gathered to watch together: Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; Decatur/Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago; Durham, North Carolina; Spring Valley, New York; and Portland, Oregon. Online, friends and members participated from “all over,” and in breakout groups we could all meet and get acquainted. During some breaks the online breakout “spaces” were left often for those serendipitous meetings which add sparkle to traditional conferences. The technical processes were very smooth, and the Chicago branch hub had even built a stage for the opening, the Youth Section presentation, and the remarkable final Pageant. (Written by Hazel Archer Ginsberg, the pageant text will be in the store soon).

Youth Section performers at the Pageant Youth Section performers at the Pageant.

Not all, but most of this experience lives on... If you registered but could not attend, links to the recordings have been emailed to you. And now the full conference recording package is in the store, complete excepting only the breakout sessions. It includes both of the pre-conference offerings, the members meeting (AGM) from Thursday evening and the presentation on the School for Spiritual Science from Friday morning which are available separately at no charge. Then in nine recordings the conference proper unfolds, in sequence, almost twelve hours from welcome to farewell. You can download sessions as well as view them online.

After the conference verse was spoken by Christine Burke (the new representative on the General Council of the Western Region), the Thursday night AGM was convened by chair Helen-Ann Ireland. Highlights were the Treasurer’s report where Dave Mansur described a solid financial position and reported on the Goetheanum treasurers circle request for increased support from the ASA, as well as the General Secretary’s report by John Bloom. Micky Leach and Dave Alsop were thanked for their now completed terms of service, Hazel Archer Ginsberg was welcomed as Central Region representative replacing Marianne Fieber last spring, and one at-large seat on the GC is to be filled. It was noted that the beautiful new Annual Report for 2020 is up on the website.

On Friday morning the verse was spoken by Katherine Thivierge, and Helen-Ann Ireland chaired the open program, “What is the School for Spiritual Science?” with Rudiger Jaenisch and Herbert Hagens. Rudiger began by observing with a smile that “it is quite a spiritual experience to speak to an audience that is invisible, mostly.”

Rudiger JanischRudiger Janisch

The conference proper, co-created by the Central Regional Council, opened with a welcome by the wonderful host Tess Parker, Assistant Director of Programs. Micky Leach and Gino Ver Eecke spoke the names of members who crossed the threshold in the last year. Dennis and Marianne Dietzel then introduced the song “The Heart is the Key to the World and to Life,” an observation by the poet/scientist Novalis, which echoed through the three days. 

Alberto Loya led a tour of the Central RegionAlberto Loya led a tour of the Central Region

A wonderful tour of the Central Region followed, highlighting a long CRC engagement with the region’s land and the elemental beings, and acknowledging the country’s indigenous peoples. The conference flowed on with Hazel Archer Ginsberg and Lisa Dalton and Timothy Kennedy and Angela Foster—and too many more to name, a broad carrying group including much support from the Youth Section. Over the three days Mary Ruud led refreshing eurythmy sessions, Janey Newton guided biography work that brought us together and helped make the offerings personal, and guitarist Morgan Vallat provided fine musical interludes.

CRC: Lisa Dalton, Marianne Fieber, Hazel Archer GinsbergCRC members Lisa Dalton, Marianne Fieber, Hazel Archer Ginsberg

The distancing imposed by the electronic medium was well overcome by the directness, unaffected warmth, and serious insight of our fellow friends and members. There was a special “live” and “now” quality, of course, as the event first unfolded itself across the continent, bringing us back through many short and longer breaks. The experience gained through the recordings, however, is a very full one. You might wish to schedule a weekend or two to join in this marvelous temple-building, which ended Sunday with a remarkable pageant and deep concluding thoughts and sharings from John Bloom and many others.

Access to the full conference is offered at four levels: regular $60, members $50, youth/equity $25, and supporters $80. The equity level is for anyone with limited income, and if you are eager to take part but cannot afford any payment at this time, please email us (editor@anthroposophy.org). 

Michael LipsonMichael Lipson, PhD

The three stellar keynotes are also available separately, the fee requested being regular $30, members $25, youth/equity $15, and supporters $50. Michael Lipson, PhD, clinical psychologist, author and meditation group and seminar leader, spoke on “The Stairway of Surprise: Rudolf Steiner’s Six Basic Exercises.” The title of a well-received book Michael has written, this “stairway of surprise” is also a fabulous metaphor for the work of personal consciousness-raising and spiritual development.

Michaela Glöckler, MDMichaela Glöckler, MD

Michaela Glöckler, MD, is a pediatrician, social-cultural activist, and former leader of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum. A gifted speaker, she joined us from Europe to address “The Life of the Heart in Space, Time, and Eternity.”

Brian GrayBrian Gray

Brian Gray, a long-time and well-loved teacher at Rudolf Steiner College, now often seen at WiseCosmos.org, gave the third fascinating presentation, “Exploring the Heart Connections between Chartres Cathedral and Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival,” with fascinating blackboard diagrams.

Having experienced the conference “live” and then prepared the recordings for the store, I can say that there is deep warmth and humanity running throughout. A certain amount of conference “business” has been trimmed off, along with a few technical delays (“Okay, now where is Ann Arbor?”). But these unpretentious offerings speak unmistakably of our newsletter theme: “being more consciously human.” And in this hope-filled and enthusiastic community context, “being human” feels generous, modest, warm, caring and very hopeful. 

Set aside a some time at your convenience; this experience will both inform and inspire you! Meanwhile, check the calendar link below; many interesting things are being offered in the next few days.

Thank you for reading, and be well!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

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