6 August 2018 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Earth is entering a stream of debris from giant comet Swift-Tuttle: parent of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Although the shower is not expected to peak until next weekend, this early activity may be a good omen for the nights ahead, especially Aug. 11th-13th when Earth is expected to pass through the densest part of the comet’s debris zone.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ – “We find the transfiguration scene in all the evangelists except St. John. This is significant. Let us clarify the meaning of this scene. What takes place? Jesus goes with three disciples Peter, James and John, up a mountain: this means into the inner sanctuary where one is initiated into higher worlds and where one also speaks in occult language. The disciples were carried up into a higher state of consciousness. They saw then that which is not transitory but eternal. Moses and Elias appear and Jesus himself with them. What does this mean? In occult science the word Elias means the same as El — the goal, the way. Moses is the spiritual scientific word for truth. By the fact that Elias, Moses and Jesus appear you have the fundamental Christian truth: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus himself says — this is a fundamental Christian mystical truth — “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John, ch. 14, v. 6) ~ Rudolf Steiner, The Gospel of St. John, 3rd Lecture
70 AD- The Second Temple of Jerusalem is destroyed by Roman legions under Titus. For 420 years, the 2nd Temple constituted a divine presence – the point where heaven & earth met. Its presence is sorely missed, its absence mourned.
1945 – The Atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima, an act of genocide on President Harry Truman’s orders, killing over 166,000 people in a flash, many more died from radiation. This is also the Transfiguration, when Jesus brought the 3 disciples up to mount Tabor, standing with Elijah & Moses, to show them his true glory shining brighter than the Sun.
This image, very like Krishna with Aruna in the Bhagavad Gita.
“A thousand simultaneous suns
Arising in the sky
Might equal that great radiance,
With that great glory vie.”
And of course Robert Oppenheimer’s well known quote about the bomb
also from the Bhagavad Gita:
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
What a juxtaposition between these two polar events.
Interesting also that this is the Lammas season, a time of harvest, when the plant is sacrificed to make the bread.
“The king is dead love live the king”
I think of all those souls who crossed the threshold together, at that time,
will their sacrifice bear fruit…?
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~In the cardboard sky
The Thunder gods gather in
A procession of chattering dark wind
Laying eggs of other lives
Of blue souls in weaving sighs
Where incense rises in long dreams
To be weighed
In the over-ripe fruit trees
A review of ‘How to Know, Confront and Work with Evil with Rev. Bastiaan Baan by Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
This day, filled with such potent anniversaries, provides the perfect opportunity to put into perspective the weekend workshop by dear Bastiaan Baan. My 1st revelation came when he revealed that fellow Christian Community priest Richard Dancey was working with these questions right before he died, just as Rudolf Steiner was, as seen in his letters to Ita Wegman, & in his last leading thoughts on sub-nature.
Of course we touched on the story of Job, delved into Genesis, & mentioned St. Augustine. “The devil is gods monkey’. We looked into the abyss, knowing the abyss was looking back at us, as we explored the notion of the 9 layers of the inner earth & their relation to the 9 Hierarchies. We dug into Goethe’s Faust & the image of the origins of Mephistopheles as coming up from the Volcano.
We talked about the idea that the adversarial powers seek to create a counter-earth. In Rosicrucianism it is called: Deus Inversus. The word Diablos means: Thru each other, to throw or mix up. We touched again & again on this primal mystery of the origins of evil 1st seen as a command from the godhead, that the Cherubim & Seraphim should not accept the offering from the Thrones. This causes some of the Thrones to turn their back, to shut themselves off, so that they develop their own secret realm, creating a counter-force in evolution – The 1st act of rebelling, which causes spirit to become matter. Yet this also creates the pre-condition for the human being to become free! Bastiaan told the Russian Tale: ‘God’s Blacksmith’, which relates to the Hebrew term Tsimtsum: ‘God is present in his absence’.
We were reminded that the measure with which we gage others will be used on us. And that we cannot shut ourselves off from evil as the Essenes did, we must “See everywhere germinating forces” ~Rudolf Steiner. We may not be able to ‘see into god’s kitchen’ to view the origins of evil in god’s plan, but we can learn to recognize evil in ourselves before it completely takes form thru our words & deeds. We must ‘follow the flowing thoughts’. What began as the science of eugenics, when unchecked became the basis for genocide. We must remember that evil comes when we are semi-conscious. Can we awaken fully to recognize the 1st inklings of evil in our thoughts before they become deeds? Bastiaan told about how when Rudolf Steiner saw the rise of nationalist socialism in Germany he could read the signs that evil was germinating, so he told Marie Steiner to pack everything up, they were officially moving to Switzerland.
Be alert! Cultivate discernment to find the sheep amongst the wolves. Strive to ‘Be as wise as a serpent & as pure as a dove.’ Our work in the 5th post-Atlantean age is spelled out for us in the 5th letter of St. John’s Apocalypse.
Bastiaan then went on to talk about recognizing ‘Black, Grey & White magic’, & gave the example of Ulla von Bernus, the daughter of a Christian Community priest, who became a leader in the ‘Church of Satan’. He spoke of her conversion when she had a dream after a friend died & Christ revealed himself to her saying “I will conquer’. ‘Grey Magic’ = greed, which is propagated in the media. ‘Black Magic’ = abuse, murder, or disregard of others for personal gain. ‘White Magic = selflessness, serving for the good of all.
The last line from Steiner’s Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: “For idea to become deed, man must first will before it can happen. Such will then has its foundation only in man himself. Therefore ultimately it is man who determines his own deed. He is free.”
We then pondered the nightly review. Can we ask ourselves: Where were the adversarial powers working? Where were my illusions? Where my negativity, my sympathies & antipathies? We can use journaling to awaken to where evil is working thru us, creating a ‘day book’ & a ‘night book’ for dreams. Work to see the connections of what wants to be known, revealing our ‘blind spots’. Perhaps as a tool of learning to know & confront evil, we can ask a trusted friend or partner to hold a mirror to our actions – setting aside time for a daily check-in to see ourselves from another’s point a view, to help reveal our ‘double’.
To try to understand this double Basstiaan gave an over-view of a German tale called “The Little Hunchback” which ends with a plea from the double for a prayer of redemption. This double which is like an elemental being that takes on those unconscious parts of ourselves, & is formed by demonic beings thru the power of evil. We know that elemental beings are amoral; they have no morality except what we give them. Thru their interaction with us they become servants, either for White or Black Magic.
We returned again & again thru questions living in the participants to that 1st idea of the rejection of the Thrones offering, which later becomes the shadow reflected in the rejection of Cain’s offering, resulting in the ‘mark of Cain’. We are reminded that to begin to know evil we must become very humble. That love & freedom must be connected to carry discernment. Going toward any extreme allows us to step toward one or the other of the adversarial powers. “In searching for balance, the Christ is present” ~Rudolf Steiner.
To strive to know, confront & work with evil we must cultivate ‘White Magic’ in a culture of selflessness. For we need community to be able to receive the strength from the higher worlds to stand up to the dragon. We referred to the red window in the Goetheanum, where we see at the bottom, the head of Michael above the large dragon head, looking up to the higher realms. Steiner mentioned to those working on the window that even the mighty Michael, if he were to look directly into the eye of the dragon, would succumb. We must look above, putting evil beneath our feet, back to where it belongs. We are told by St. Paul to out on the ‘armor of god’. To stand with the Christ & Michael, & with all the heavenly hosts, sword in hand & mind, to hold our ground, allowing us to share the power of peace. We need this armor whenever we go into any confrontational situation; for there is always some aspect of evil behind conflict – it gets us in its grip. We must put on the consciousness of god’s armor even when we pray, so that the adversarial powers can’t steal our thoughts & take the power of our prayer for themselves.
But we must also remember that the spiritual world steps back to give us the ability to grow & consciously call it back in. The old adage must be made true: We must practice patience & never lose faith. It is said: “Patience swallows the devil”. We see this in chap. 13 of the Apocalypse – evil will become all pervasive, it will only end if we have endurance, if we endure the trial & stand the test, discerning between illusion, putting fear & hatred beneath our feet. Steiner admitted that WW1 was a complete failure on the part of humanity & yet it became a pre-condition for the reappearance of Christ in the etheric. Reminding us that even Ahriman is part of god.
Basstiaan Baan speaking the Lord’s Prayer in Greek was a highlight for us all. I took that sacred reverberation deep into my being. He asked us to picture Christ speaking it, giving it to the disciples, speaking it with us when we recite it, seeing it as a gift we send back to Christ, thru our human lips; remembering the 7 lines as being the 7 epochs of human evolution, from our godly origins, to the future when we are delivered from evil. To the time of the Maitreya, when the stream of Christian Manichaeism will flourish. We must begin to cultivate this selflessness now.
We thought a lot about how we could become aware of our own double. Asking: Can I work to develop a dialogue with this part of me? Can I listen to hear the needs of my double? Can I learn to bless this part of myself? Just like Jacob when he wrestled with the angel, asked for a blessing. We must be ever striving for self-knowledge.
Bastiaan gave us an overview of Viktor Frankel’s account of his time in the concentration camps, saying that despite everything, we must say yes to life, asking not what will come to us, but what we can give to life; & that this then becomes our search for meaning. We must create meaning in what seems meaningless. To find our humanness we must, be creative, & practice love & endurance. Can we learn to see suffering as an achievement?
“I, with concentration
and with full love
Look into the darkness.
There I see the light”
(Bastiaan gave us this poem, but I can’t remember who wrote it. Anyone know?)
Bastiaan spoke of the fairy tale called “The three golden hairs of the devil” – the gold speaking to the divine origins of evil.
We talked about the temptations of Christ & related it to our double bidding his time. We are asked to look for the where, how & when of the redemption of evil in the life of Christ, & are directed to the descent or harrowing of hell. The secret, counter-world of the adversarial powers is penetrated & the light of Christ’s love & selfless surrender becomes a seed of their redemption thru us. From that moment on, these beings serve Christ & can have a place in human evolution. Christ returns to give us the key to the underworld.
And even though our endurance was surly tested by the 100 degree weather, such an amazing group of folks from all over the Midwest (& 1 from Germany), made the weekend a true spiritual gathering; cooking & eating together, doing eurythmy with Mary Ruud, singing a Dvorak piece based on Psalms 23 beautifully rendered & taught by Bastiaan, & played by Elisabeth Swisher. We had an end of day service & the full Sunday service, all in our lovely Christian Community Chapel. Saturday August 4th was also the 17th anniversary of marriage to my beloved Chuck Ginsberg! I was thrilled to spend this time together with him & our 18 year old daughter, working with this potent topic.
Afterward back home on Sunday evening, at the dinner table, we discussed all we had encountered. Our family talked for hours, sharing thoughts & impressions. Our daughter, a recent graduate from the Waldorf school, came away resonating with the idea that creating art was a good way to know, confront & work with evil. She said she was glad she had her whole life to think about important things like this.
After taking it all into my sleep, I awoke with this dream: I was in the chaos of a post-apocalyptic world. Evil authorities broke down the door of our place of refuge. I managed to escape carrying a satchel with the 1st Class lessons & a bright red golden retriever. I was trying to make my way thru the upheaval of the city, fraught with mayhem. I needed to cross a busy street, dodging military vehicles. When I finally made it across, I realized I didn’t have the satchel or the dog. To my dismay I looked back to see them back on the other side of the road, so I had to cross that treacherous street once again. When I got there, the satchel & dog were nowhere to be seen. I asked some people huddled by a large stone. They said they didn’t know. But I knew that they had eaten the dog. Then I noticed a woman laying with the satchel of the 1st Class Lessons under her head. She wouldn’t give it back, she kept chanting ‘god dog god dog’…I thought ‘Do I have to fight her’? But then I thought ‘I will give her a piece of chocolate,’ which I had in my breast pocket.While she was eating, I was able to wrest the satchel free.
After many more encounters where I had to discern who was ‘good’ & who was ‘evil’, I found my way to an underground cave that attracted me because it was pouring out light. My 1st impression was that the people were all primitive, since that were covered with decorative mud & had elaborate jewelry in their dreaded hair, but then I said to myself: ‘Beware the label primitive, for what may seem outwardly backward may actually be a sign of superior intelligence’. I found that I was sitting on the dirt floor; I was catching my breath, trying to become calm after the turmoil. The beautiful people sat & just looked at me with kindness, without worry or concern. Soon I noticed a round table in front of me, on it there was a vast bonsai tree, with a thick textured trunk, that split off into 3 sections. The leaves of the tree swept off to the right in a wave. I said to myself: ‘What seems left in my dream is really right, i must take note”. Then I realized the tree was heavy with every ripe fruit I had ever seen, & many I did not know. I was so happy. I exclaimed ‘How lovely, what tree is this?’ The People gathered closer & without speaking told me to look into the roots. With speechless words they said ‘Yes, dig into the roots’. And as I did, with child-like delight, I discovered a hidden cave, deep in the rich black soil, I dug & dug until I unearthed a golden vessel, which they instructed me to bring forth. Then they all sang & danced & chanted “Pour it out, pour it out…” I lifted the cork, & the most amazing fragrance filled the air, as I poured this elixir out onto the roots of the tree. This ritual went on for what seemed like days with the vessel ever pouring. During this eternal time, I saw so many things which I can’t quite remember, but which created a feeling of reverence & awe.
Finally when it stopped, I noticed that across from the table was a long, rectangular, coffin-like altar with a thick heavy lid that was made of ivory, carved with mysterious glyphs. And suddenly I knew that my daughter was in there! It seemed obvious somehow, & I started talking to her, saying ‘O, now you are pregnant’…I laughed & laughed, saying ‘now you will carry your daughter’…I was crying from joy…Then one of the elders said ‘But what if it is a boy’…with that statement we all let out a collective…’ahhh’…The space became hushed & still…& I awoke, thinking of Bastiaan Baan’s voice resonating The Lord’s Prayer in Greek…
Thank you dear Bastiaan for a powerful encounter.
by Grace Kahn
20 August 2018 ~MORAL MONDAY~ CHICAGO 7 pm – 9 pm
“When The Trees Melt Away In A Sun Soaked Cotton Dream”
A going going gone Party for the CWS Class of 2018 –
Illustrations by Grace Kahn, Work by Shanti Rogers, Art booth by Liz Rosu-Rosenberg
Songs from “Beyond Blue and Red” by Ultra-Violet Archer
Chance Schneider & DJ Grapefruit Effect
$10 Donation –MORE or less (Youth under 21 FREE)
30 Aug. 2018 at 2 PM to 3 Sep. 2018 at 1 PM
Registration is now open for How We Will 2018 –
The ever growing list of Contributors:
Hosted by The Elderberries 3Fold Cafe Chicago & Urban First Aid – Art As Medicine 4251 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618-2953
A central theme which we will explore at the forum will be the theory and practice of Social Three-folding, developed by Rudolf Steiner. Organizing for systemic change – a separation of powers into three different spheres of action fostering:
In the Economics Realm –a moral imagination of Kinship
In Rights/Governance – Equality
In Culture/Education/Spirituality – Freedom
Through lectures, capacity building workshops, and collaborative design, we will develop ourselves as change agents with Three-folding activists from around the world. What new tools, skills, levels of listening, mindfulness, forms of capital and alternative currencies, and generative ideas can we gain in order to truly develop our cultural voice and potential to connect and heal our relationships, communities, nations, and the earth?
Come to the How We Will Forum to learn, listen deeply, and dig in with other communities that we might grow together, unified by a common vision of creating a more equitable world.
CHICAGO FRIENDS – WE NEED HOUSING!
We will also be building out the cafe space two weeks before and two weeks after for those who can come early &/or stay and help get this Elderberries 3Fold Cafe Chicago up and running!