May 30, 2016
1431- Joan of Arc – Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial.
Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision & heard voices that she later identified as St. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, & Margaret of Antioch.
During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English & recaptured the cities of Orléans & Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English & placed on trial for heresy & witchcraft. Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men’s clothes. The English resented France’s military success–to which Joan contributed.
On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, & her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.
Remembered by most people for her military exploits, yet her life offers a perfect example of both contemplation & action. Her spiritual insight is that there should be a “unity of heaven & earth.”
1672 – Birthday of Peter the Great, Czar of Russia. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist & medieval social & political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, westernized, & based on The Enlightenment. Peter’s reforms made a lasting impact on Russia & many institutions of Russian government traced their origins to his reign.
1778 – Deathday of Voltaire, a French Enlightenment writer, historian, & philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, & his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, & separation of church & state.
Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, & historical & scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters & more than 2,000 books & pamphlets. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, & the French institutions of his day. Steiner’s Karma lectures vol. II lec. 29 speak of him as “a former pupil of the mysteries”
1935 – Deathday of D.N. Dunlop, a Scottish entrepreneur, founder of the World Power Conference & other associations; he was a theosophist-turned-anthroposophist.
After meeting Rudolf Steiner, both expressed their intimate spiritual connection & respect for one another. He joined the Anthroposophical Society in 1920, at which time he called into being the anthroposophical “Human Freedom Group”, which he led. He introduced the idea of anthroposophical Summer Schools. In 1928 he organized the World Conference on Anthroposophy, & in 1929 he was elected General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain.
As a result of conflicts & power struggles within the General Anthroposophical Society, leading to its splintering in April 1935, Dunlop was expelled together with a number of other leading members. He died shortly afterwards of an appendicitis. Dunlop enlisted the help of fellow anthroposophist Walter Johannes Stein in the hope of founding a World Economic Organization, but his death prevented this. (Former Templar)
1953 – Edmund Hillary climbs Mount Everest
~ ~ ~
~With simple sandals
I walk before my Beloved
Yet in the house of heaven my feet are still…
My breast is a lyre that hums,
My lungs fill with living fire,
A cool breeze encircles me,
There is no need for haste…
~ ~ ~
In thinking about: “The Working of the Spirit” by Michael Burton & Marke Levene. Part 5 (program for the Chicago reading)
Having worked with Rudolf Steiner’s indications about life between death & re-birth, I was fascinated to see the artistic rendering in scene 4 of Strader’s experiences in Kamaloca. I can just imagine the eurythmy chorus moving as Angeloi & as elemental beings, enacting around him energy pictures of the intense feeling in his soul of what he has created in the soul of others thru the words & deeds of his previous life. A moving process showing the crisis of alienation & loneness being overcome thru the awareness of the important connections he has had with others in life; & then the beauty of reuniting with his beloved wife Theodora, & his teacher Capesius, who is about to enter thru the portal of death into the spiritual world.
To follow this journey is a powerful experience for his group of karmic friends still on earth. Johannes has to purify his own guilt so he can join with the others to help further, in a positive way, Strader’s journey thru the spheres.
It’s so interesting to realize that even the adversarial powers can appear, working to assail the souls journey. To see that we can help our beloved dead with our thoughtful blessings, as Benedictus does, gives an important perspective.
We sit at the deathbed of Capesius in scene 5. Next we see, thru Johannes’ meditation, the karmic group around Capesius as the Neophytos, taking initiation in ancient Greece. This leads to a retrospective of the karmic threads that bind each soul, from the oracle of Delphi to the Greek schools of Philosophy, where we are introduced to various streams: Platonic, Aristotelian & Sophic. These perspectives into the souls of each in the karmic group, gives the background that reveals their present karmic tasks.
At the end of scene 9 we see a battle between spirits faithful to the Guardian & those who serve the adversarial beings, including an introduction to the Asuras.
It isn’t until scene 10, when we ‘come back to earth’ to deal with all that has not been resolved in those past lives.
I leave you with these words from the Guardian: “You children of earth, remember your most deep & inner longing for a world made whole & Holy through the power of Love!”
Blessings and Peace ~Hazel Archer Ginsberg