We're delighted to welcome the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch to the internet. You'll see it in the drop-down list under groups and branches. With help from branch colleagues and Central Region Council colleague Alberto Loya, Hazel Archer-Ginsberg has launched the site, and it's built right into the anthroposophy.org website.
Tickets are on sale now for the Festival of Rudolf Steiner's four mystery dramas in English. Co-sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in America, next August 8-17 the Threefold Mystery Drama Group will perform all four dramas in a nine-day festival and conference in Chestnut Ridge, NY. There will be no separate tickets for performances only. Reportedly, half the festival tickets had been sold in the first few days since tickets went on sale February 24th. [Link]
The Society's Rudolf Steiner Library is in the midst of transformations, and we have a blog up where reports from the Town Hall are being posted to help everyone stay in touch. It's at library.anthroposophy.org. And there is a rather wonderful video documenting the move from Fern Hill to Philmont, NY. Give it a look!
Barbara Renold, director of the Threefold Mystery Drama Group which will present all four of Rudolf Steiner's four Mystery Dramas next August in English, is giving talks and workshops coast-to-coast. She has already visited Denver, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles. Next, March 7-8 in Harlemville, NY; March 14-15 in Chicago; April 4-5 in Washington, DC; and April 11-12 in Cartersville, GA. A date is pending for Minneapolis.
The Threefold website has contact information for all sites and information about the summer festival, which is co-sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in America. This PDF describes a typical two-day talk and workshop.
Nancy Jewel Poer shared some thoughts from her hospital room by e-mail with friends on Martin Luther King Day. We asked if we could share them further here, and she agreed. Nancy is a person of many deeds and concerns -- teacher, historian of the spirit of America, social activist, lecturer and filmmaker, advocate for conscious dying, and her website is well worth a visit. At this moment her attention was drawn to the cosmopolitan life of a San Francisco hospital, where she found herself passing along some history around Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech on the Washington Mall in 1963, including the little-known role played by the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson in his speaking forth "the dream." Read more...
For many years now Glen Williamson has been performing one-man-shows that carry insights from Rudolf Steiner and other anthroposophical researchers. "The Incarnation of the Logos" approaches the Bible's two quite different nativity stories. It will be seen on January 5, 2014, 7:00pm, at Plowshare Farm, an intentional community in southern New Hampshire. The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript interviewed Glen recently and reported on the event and its inspirations. Other performance dates are listed at Glen's website.
Some time ago Michael Ronall shared an essay he had written for the catalog of Mercury Press, one of the fine small publishers who supplement the great work of SteinerBooks. Mercury Press is a long-sustained labor of love from co-workers of the remarkable Fellowship Community in Chestnut Ridge, NY, "an intergenerational community primarily concerned with enlivening elder care and realizing the ideas of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner."
With medical topics at its core, Mercury Press also reaches out into education, children's books, social questions, and much more, including the four volume Who Was Ita Wegman? The current catalog includes essays from William Lindeman, Matthew Barton, Florin Lowndes, and Michael Ronall who shared his essay, "How Then Shall We Live," to promote the press' work. It opens with a famous quote from Schiller: "Do you seek the highest, the greatest? The plant can teach it to you. What the plant does without willing, do that willingly." Read it in the catalog or in our Articles section.
The Hindu reported on 12/8/2013 on an international seminar on holistic education in Coimbatore, southern India, with Waldorf educators and anthroposophic doctors. It shared the Waldorf story and perspective as brought by leader of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum Dr Michaela Glöckler. The eight-day conference was initiated by Yellow Train School whose Facebook page has photos of the event. Santhya Vikram of Yellow Train is quoted:
More and more people are disillusioned by the frenetic pace of our lives and what our young children are subjected to in the name of education. They want the schooling years that are joyful and healing in an environment of love and care.
The International Postgraduate Medical Training (IPMT) which meets around the world was also held in India, in Chennai, in late November. Its next meetings in North America are May 10-17, 2014, in Fair Oaks, CA, which includes the Anthroposophic Nursing Certification Course and Rhythmical Massage Therapy Training; and an advanced training for school doctors in Wilton, NH, June 29-July 4.
In the Biodynamics Blog Jeff Schreiber, who farms at Three Sisters Community Farm near Milwaukee, offers a stimulating report on a recent workshop with Bruno Follador and others: “More Humus, More Humanity: Insights and Practices out of Biodynamic Agriculture” at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. The report is interspersed with photos and telling quotations, include the painter Cézanne's assertion that "The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution."
And a key issue worked on was thinking: "All phenomena become merely things 'out there,' things to manipulate, exploit, and control. Here, in this worldview, is where the horrors of our world begin: soil becomes just an inert medium for root growth. Chickens: just cuts of meat. Water: just molecules. Land: just a commodity. People: just collections of genes." But a biodynamic farmer must overcome this kind of thinking to meet the truth of the compost heap at the heart of a living farm.
And so, "The revolution we so badly need... will come through free people paying ever greater attention – little by little, day by day – to the phenomena that surround them..." [Read more.]
Location: Chicago, IL
An evening talk & Saturday Workshop with Barbara Renold [more]
Location: Ben Lomond, CA
A Weekend Workshop Devoted to Money and Biography [more]
Location: Seattle, WA
A talk by Torin Finser, PhD, at the Seattle Branch [more]
Location: Brookline Village
with Deborah Ravetz, Artist and Social Sculptor (Forest Row,UK) & Rev. Tom Ravetz, Priest (Forest Row, UK) [more]
Location: Chestnut Ridge, NY
Eurythmy Performance for Children [more]
From Anthroposophy Worldwide 2014-01-02:
'Shortly before Christmas the Goetheanum received an extraordinarily gratifying message. A December 9, 2013 decision by the Canton Solothurn Governing Council found that today the Goetheanum “is recognized by the federation… as an object of national importance” and—in the context of the canton’s historical preservation efforts—it promised a contribution of up to 392,000 Swiss francs from the canton’s lottery proceeds for the renovation of the “sheathing” of the Goetheanum building. Thus the canton is contributing an amount that represents 23% of the qualified costs for the exterior renovation (1.7 million francs). Total costs are 3.8 million francs. The governing council’s decision also noted a “pending” supplemental contribution by the Historical Preservation Section of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture Based on previous experience and the financial situation of the canton, budget planning for the renovation did not include a contribution from the historical preservation fund.
'In financing the project we have now reached the ten-million-franc level with 10,028,000 francs. For the projected total costs of 13.5 million francs we will try to raise the rest of the funds during the course of the renovations in 2014 and 2015. This spring, a project newsletter will report on the ongoing work of renovation, the difficulties produced by the unexpected asbestos contamination of the iron curtain in the theater, and our further progress. We will also continue tours of the building for interested members on the first Saturday of each month. | Justus Wittich, Goetheanum Executive Council
Regular reports about the ongoing construction work can be found at www.goetheanum.org/6024.0.html — currently the site is in a pilot phase with pages in German, English, and French (like the announcements on the home page). Inquiries about what is available on the web page can be directed to sebastian.juengel (at) dasgoetheanumch.
Rudolf Steiner's pedagogical insight was that children are better not pushed into reading until the permanent teeth arrive around age seven. Formative forces at work in the bodily organism are then released for mental effort. In the UK the "Too Much, Too Soon" campaign has reached the same conclusion, and one of the signers, a Cambridge University researcher, explains that "There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. These arise from anthropological, psychological, neuroscientific and educational studies." David Whitebread adds, "One particular study of 3,000 children across England, funded by the Department for Education themselves, showed that an extended period of high quality, play-based pre-school education was of particular advantage to children from disadvantaged households." Read more at the Cambridge University site.
A broad campaign for healthy early childhood has been carried for some years in the USA by the Alliance for Childhood, whose co-founder Joan Almon was a co-chair of WECAN, the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, and a general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America.
Waldorf schools are so famous for their strong arts curriculum that some people mis-perceive them as schools for arts rather than for the whole human being. The awarding of a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Thomas C. Südhof provides a pointer to Waldorf graduates' abilities in the sciences. His laboratory studies how synapses are formed in the brain, take on specific properties, and accomplish their signaling. Südhof tells his own story online, beginning as follows:
When I was born in Göttingen in 1955, the aftermaths of the second world war were still reverberating. I was born into an anthroposophical family. My maternal grandparents had been early followers for Rudolf Steiner’s teaching, and worked for Waldorf schools when Hitler assumed power and banned the anthroposophical movement. Waldorf schools were closed, and my grandfather was conscripted to work in a chemical munitions factory ... My uncle was drafted into the army right out of school, and when I was born, he had just returned from the Soviet Union after 10 years as a prisoner of war. My parents were physicians... My father’s training led him to the United States during the time I was born; as a result, he learned of my arrival by telegram as he was learning biochemical methods in San Francisco, where in a twist of fate I now live.
I ... graduated from the Hannover Waldorf school in 1975. I had been interested in many different subjects as a student, any subject except sports. I did not know what to do with my life after school, except that I was determined not to serve in the military. More by default than by vocation, I thus decided to enter medical school, which kept all avenues open for a possible career in science or as a practitioner of something useful – being a physician...
The Anthroposophical Society was founded by Rudolf Steiner in Switzerland in 1923. It seeks to support individuals who are working on their own inner development and who wish to bring the fruit of that inner work to benefit the wider world. More...
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