A newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society in America
banner image - being more consciously human
March 27, 2022
(with updated links to Ukraine talk and Arlesheim Clinic lecture)

Dear Members & Friends,

The new print being human will reach members any day now, after some delays including paper supply. The issue will be available online in several weeks. Organizations that would like to have free copies to share with students, visitors, and guests should email us today with the desired quantity.

The whole world has gotten the hang of Zoom and online presentations and meetings, and there is a remarkable outpouring of activity in our movement. The many events and webinars we are aware of are posted in our national calendar; to keep us informed of new events, email us at calendar@anthroposophy.org. We can only highlight a few here.

Images below include details of three new works by Patrick Stolfo beyond those shared in being human. The first is “Divine Sophia,” in cast crea-stone (you many wish to search that online) with amber patina. In carved wood there follows, further down, a detail of a “Winged Being”; and then a “Fallen Figure” carved in cherry wood. Do click on each image to view the full sculptures at Patrick’s website. — Two more March photos fill out the page, a strengthening sun through bare northern trees, and some March growth with a bright California flower.

detail of Patrick Stolfo: Divine Sophia

Compassionate action

Serguei Krissiouk is an anthroposophically trained physician currently involved in research and therapeutic work with chronically ill children, as well as a clinical homeopathic practitioner, translator, and musician. He has been involved at the New York Branch for many years and last Thursday night gave a talk and Zoom presentation on the spiritual and historical dimensions of the “War in Ukraine,” his country of birth. A recording is now available, and Serguei was able to provide links to two verified and legitimate relief organizations with whom he has worked (ucca.org and www.rsukraine.org).

For help specific to the Waldorf movement, the worldwide Friends of Waldorf-Steiner Education are “preparing a series of actions to help traumatised, frightened refugees on the borders of Ukraine, as well as those who remain in Ukraine.”

And the forthcoming print being human features an article by Karine Munk Finser, MEd, about the new Kairos Institute sponsored by the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire in collaboration with the Transdisciplinary Healing Education Program at Antioch University New England. Kairos Institute was conceived before the outbreak of war, at a time when we were already seeing the pandemic’s effects piled on top of other assaults on childhood well-being.

“Though there are strong healing forces in the Waldorf curriculum, we are receiving more and more children who need one-on-one help beyond tutoring or another independent education program (IEP). The still untapped resource of the artistic therapies can offer great support in helping our children regain their sense of self, their inner resilience, joy, and readiness for learning. ...

“Our work as healing educators or therapists is to help children become receptive to all that streams towards them in terms of goodness and love. These unifying and healing forces can emanate from family, friends, a therapist, the community, a great teacher, or from one trusted individual. This is the essential gesture of healing that we want to instill and teach our future practitioners of art therapies through the Kairos Institute.”

Kairos will launch July 3-8, in Wilton, NH, with Bernd Ruf’s Emergency Pedagogy.

The next print issue also features articles by Holly Koteen-Soulé on qualities needed in our times for social art and social healing, and by Jeff Tunkey on “The Pandemic and the ‘Pedagogical Law’ — helping each other in times of stress.” If you've been thinking of joining the Society, you can still get a member’s print copy of this issue by joining now.

Anthroposophic medicine in action

We also have a link in the new issue which is much easier to access right here. John Scott Legg of SteinerBooks sent us not long ago this link to a YouTube recording of a lecture at the Rudolf Steiner Haus Stuttgart, held on April 21, 2021 and featuring Philipp Busche, a specialist in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and head of the internal medicine and medical training of the anthroposophic Arlesheim Clinic near the Goetheanum. He also sent a proper translation which is available here.

The exciting aspect of this talk, for us, is Dr. Busche’ matter-of-fact telling of the Clinic’s first Covid patient and the natural, caring, and personalized way this and subsequent individuals were met.

I have been asked to tell you something about my experiences and perhaps about the questions, but also the insights, that motivate us when we care for and accompany patients in Arlesheim with Corona, with COVID-19. That is what I would like to do, and we are already looking back on a period of more than a year. I thought I would take you along a bit on our development path at the Department of Internal Medicine in Arlesheim over the last 12 or 13 months. I will use three patient cases as examples so that you can experience what such a pandemic actually means for the individual, for a team, for a clinic, for a society.

So the video link is here, with an “auto-translation” option, and a proper humanly-made translation available here.

This may be the place for an early note that the Anthroposophic Health Association is having a conference, “The Mysteries of Healing: Realizing AnthropoSophia,” July 19-22 in Kimberton, Pennsylvania. Keynote speakers are three MDs: Ursula Flatters, James Dyson, and Marion Debus. Read about it here, and take a minute on the AHA main page to watch the slider of its member organizations. While the pandemic limited the 2020 centenary celebration of anthroposophy’s evolving gifts to medicine, they look to be flourishing two years later.

And coming up very soon is a three day seminar from the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology. James Dyson from the UK and Simon Kuttner from Israel are the lecturers for “Soul Matters: The Journey So Far” which asks:

How does the Being of Psycho-Sophia gradually incarnate alongside Anthropo-Sophia? How does this incarnation reveal the winding path back to the Spirit from brain-bound materialism? And, how might working with this picture, through our own individual efforts, actually make a difference - to me and to the world?

detail of Patrick Stolfo: Winged Being

Healing, Freedom, Children

The theme of healing continues in many other initiatives. “Leadership in Transformation” (LiT) is a project of the World Social Initiative Forum, an international network of spiritually-inspired grassroots initiatives addressing poverty, marginalization and social injustice. 

Founded in 2000 by Ute Craemer and Truus Geraets, the WSIF hosts Forums which unfold individual potential, create spaces of encounter, and highlight diverse practices pioneered by individuals and initiatives locally with long-term impact. Since its founding, WSIF has co-hosted over 20 in-Person Forums on 5 continents and is now reaching more people with its online formats. WSIF partners with many international network organizations, including the Section for Social Sciences at the Goetheanum and the School of Spiritual Science.

The WSIF’s extensive LiT Forum series started March 22 with an admirable talk by Aonghus Gordon, “Freedom in Culture: From limitation to potentiality (The ‘I as I’).” (Aonghus spoke on Friday at the Groh Farm, in Wilton, NH, to a group looking to form a federation of groups in the region doing therapeutic work with young people through crafts, farming, and outdoor experiences.)

Next up, on April 6th, is Carrie Schuchardt, MEd, of the House of Peace, who has lived and worked with refugees since 1980. Carrie will speak on “Equality in the Rights Sphere: From power to agreement. (‘I and You’).” May 4th brings ASA general secretary John Bloom with “Association in the Economic Sphere: From scarcity to abundance (‘We in the World’).” In June Thea Maria Carlson will round out the first group of offerings. Look at the program details here.

A flyer for the next face-to-face WSIF gathering, takes place in August in Detroit, went out with being human.

Re:Generation Education has been working on “trauma-informed education” in the Middle East for many years now. Co-founder Shepha Schneirsohn Vainstein, a long-time Waldorf parent and advocate, was the keynote speaker at our 2017 fall conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Their latest newsletter begins with the sobering observation that “When war breaks out, children are the least responsible — but suffer the greatest consequences.”

detail of Patrick Stolfo: Fallen Figure

Arts in action

The IVAA is the international federation of anthroposophic medical associations. They recently offered a series of four short videos, to view or download here, on arts therapies, in German with English subtitles. a mini-documentary series with four distinct episodes focused on the therapeutic areas of painting, music, modelling and speech. 

In this filmic insight, viewers can learn directly from the perspective of patients, therapists and doctors about the artistic approaches, therapeutic effects, and fields of application originating from the Anthroposophic Arts Therapies approach. Anthroposophic Arts Therapies support the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. These art-therapeutic activities also have a preventive function, as they provide methods for a mindful, self-effective way of dealing with oneself.

The M.C. Richards Program at FreeColumbia is named for a notable poet, potter, essayist, painter, and teacher, involved in the Camphill movement. “The program is one contribution toward her question: ‘What are some practices to strengthen and enliven living images, in contrast to mechanical and life-destroying images? And how may thinking itself be taught in ways that promote life, rather than estrange us from it?’” Applications for the 2022-2023 cohort in this “full-time micro-college year in the Hudson Valley” are being accepted on a rolling basis. Details here.

Coming up next weekend (April 1-3) in the same neighborhood, Lightforms Art Center is hosting Urban First Aid from the Circles for a Renewal of Culture. The lineup is remarkable: Meeting Chamomile + Warmth and Shock with RN ANS Jude Neu, RN Trish Waters, and RN ANS Margaret Rosenthaler; Free Culture + Art as Medicine with Loki + Laura Summer + Frank Agrama; Emergency First Aid with EMT Zuri Burns; Skin as a Sense Organ: Natural Applications For Home Use & First Aid with Dr. Steven Johnson; Basic Survival Skills for the New England Region with Jasmine Lehrman; and Warmth as a Bridge Towards Health in the Social Realm with Dr. Branko Furst. Email Frank Agrama for more information.

photo: March, Ann Arbor


We will end with a reminder about our own ASA events titled Sophia Rising — both a new webinar series starting in a few days and, in later April, a face-to-face conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico; do check them both out.

Thank you for reading, and be well!

John Beck
Editor, being human

Anthroposophical Society in America

Quick links:

Check the event calendar for upcoming programs, and submit your own events online or by email to calendar@anthroposophy.org.

photo: late March, California
Anthroposophical Society in America (US)
1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 USA

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