Dear friends – In thinking back to the laying of the Foundation Stone for the 1st Goetheanum, called at that time the ‘Johannas Bau’, 110 years ago on 20 September 1913– (Read the transcript of that elementally charged ceremony in an essay I shared HERE) I can’t help but connect this to the arson that destroyed the ‘House of the Word’ 10 years later.
In the amazing ‘Play for Voices’ by Richard Ramsbotham, called “The Burning of the Goetheanum” a powerful occult secret is revealed thru his research capturing biographical insights from those who were there.
I met Richard for the 1st time in person this Summer at the ‘AHA‘ conference ‘The Mysteries of Healing: Realizing AnthropoSophia“, where he gave me a signed copy of this amazing telling of the Anthroposophical Biography we all share.
As we know Dr. Steiner designed this incredible ‘House of the Word’. Along with all the craftsmen & volunteers, that he worked with to co-create a powerful synthesis of diverse artistic & sensory forms infused with spiritual significance, he also employed Architect Schmid-Curtius & Engineer Englert to pull off this never before organic building achievement of the connecting domes.
From Emil Molt we hear: “The building supervision lay in the hands of the engineer Englert, the former director of the Basel building association that had produced the special concrete base for the building. Dr Steiner gave Englert the task of anchoring the two cupolas at their section in such a way that they would mutually support each other. At first, Englert declared the problem insoluble according to his calculations. He was given some directions by Dr Steiner then, lo and behold, a few days later he had solved what he had at first thought impossible.” ~Emil Molt and the beginnings of the Waldorf School movement: Sketches from an autobiography. Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1991. Page 114.
From Steiner we learn: “Technically, it was an extremely difficult task to accomplish — to bring the two cupolas together —there didn’t seem to be a way to fit two spherical surfaces one into the other. So I really must mention here that we did succeed through the insight and effort of our friend, the esteemed Basel engineer Joseph Englert, who solved this architectural problem which had heretofore never been solved.” ~Rudolf Steiner, 10 April 1915, in Basel GA 289
From the biography of Joseph Englert, which Ramsbotham opens for us in his play – we learn that from an early age Englert had a powerful fascination with occult phenomena of all kinds. In particular he dabbled in mediumism, spiritualism, & was an accomplished astrologer. We was a member of the Theosophical society & heard Steiner speak for the 1st time in Basel in 1906.
As mentioned in the essay on the laying of the Foundations Stone, he was at the original founding as board member & treasurer of the Johannesbauverein – the building committee. But:
“In the second half of 1918 there was a series crisis of trust between Englert & the other board members, & after a stormy meeting on 10 January 1919, Englert not only resigned from the board, but also from the construction management. As a result, he also turned away from Anthroposophy…Shortly afterwards his marriage ended in divorce & in 1922 he moved to Lugano. There he became friends, with Hermann Hesse.” ~ https://biographien.kulturimpuls.org/detail.php?id=1479
Englert also cast Horoscope charts for Hermann Hesse. In his novel “Klingsor’s Last Summer”, Hesse Depicts Englert as the Dark Magician.
Clara Selling Walther, who lived with Rudolf Steiner & Marie von Sivers at 30 Motzstrasse in Berlin, for 20 years, tells us that after Englert broke away from Anthroposophy he converted to Catholicism & became a Jesuit. After the fire at the Goetheanum she wrote down some recollections: “A body was found, of a crippled man, a watchmaker. Herr Doctor said he was NOT the arsonist. ‘Oh, No! Old Englert was the only one who knew everything about the cupolas’.”
Russian novelist Andrei Bely, another artistic associate who worked on the Goetheanum, wrote about Englert:
“I appreciated Englert…but I also suspected him ever more strongly of being marked out by a secret tragedy. I sensed his growing fascination with the abyss surrounding us. He suffered a fall. He separated from Steiner, in dissonance & discord, and converted to Catholicism.”
After the burning Steiner spoke to Ita Wegman & a small group of esoteric students, about how the 2 Dark Brotherhoods working behind the Jesuits & the Freemasons – usually enemies – joined together for the 1st time to destroy the ‘House of the Word’.
Steiner quotes what the astrologers working for the Freemasons started as a rumor in the media, which was then picked up & flamed into a fever by the Catholic Church: “Spiritual sparks have flown into the Goetheanum; physical sparks of fire will leap into it too, bringing an end to the glory of Dornach”
We know the fire stared in the ‘White Room’ which is where the Christian Community Priests were ordained. There are stories from the eurythmists who also used that room, that a strange wind ‘like an elemental force’ blew the cover off a sky light. To reach that room the arsonist would have known to come thru the sky light that allowed access to the inside space between the 2 cupolas which led right down to the make-shift altar left there from the ceremonies of the new Priests.
This space between the 2 cupala’s, which the engineer Englert was so proud of, is beautifully described by Painter & Eurythmist Margarita Woloschina who speaks about how Englet took her on a tour under the scaffolding to show her the construction of the Cupola’s:“Both Cupolas were double-shelled, according to the principle of the sounding board of a violin. It was an extraordinary experience to stand in the space between the 2 half-spheres of the inner & outer roofs of the small cupola, where all normal spatial relationships were as though annulled.” ~ The Green Snake: An Autobiography
We know from experience that the 2 once oppositional adversarial powers are now working together against humanity in many ways.
The question for us today 110 years after the original laying of the Foundation Stone is: When will the 2 Anthroposophical streams, often called the Platonists & the Aristotelians, consciously stive to work together for the good?
And Yes, we are meant to expand out the polarity – Hey, Let’s explore the transcendent 3rd – We can square the Circle – Step into the pentagram, The 6-pointed heart-star – the 12 points of View…etc…In Christic Revelation…
Let us close this theme with a quote from ‘WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE GOETHEANUM’, GA 84, 9 April 1923, Basel : “The Goetheanum could burn down. A catastrophe has swept it away. The pain of those who loved it is so great that it cannot be described…But Anthroposophy is built out of spirit, and only flames of spirit can touch this. Just as the human soul and spirit are victor over the physical when this is destroyed in death, so Anthroposophy must live, even though it has lost its Dornach home..
What Anthroposophy is to be for the further development of humanity, is built of spirit. This will not be destroyed by the flames of the spiritual life, for these flames are not destroying flames; they are strengthening flames, flames that give more life than ever. And all that life which is to be revealed through Anthroposophy as life of knowledge of the higher world, must be tempered by the flames of the highest inspiration of the human being, soul and spirit. Then Anthroposophy will continuously evolve.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Maybe you’re thinking: Ok so -Why are you even bringing up this arsonist business anyway?
I guess for me it’s always interesting to try & understand what moves thru individuals who affect world history. Always after 100 years – What could not be spoke of then – must now come to light. The forces that lived in those that have fallen to their lower selves, becoming pawns for the adversarial powers, where are these forces living today? Can we meet them before they create a destructive fire? Spiritual Science tells us that events are certainly written in the stars, & yet – if we stay awake & watch thru the dark night – we can work with the stars to steer humanity toward the light…
Bring on the fire of selfless enthusiasm…
SUNDAY 24 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
*The Autumnal Equinox
*World Eurythmy Day
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep
30 September 2023 – Our Annual Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day – Biodynamic preparation making and Michaelmas 2023 – Food for Thought
The time for biodynamic preparation making is upon us. We will be making and burying the chamomile, yarrow and dandelion compost preparations. This offers hands on activity. We will be walking through grass and working in the soil. Please dress accordingly and be ready to get dirty.
After the potluck join Hazel Archer-Ginsberg in an experiential activity at the bon-fire called: Food for Thought –
Bounty: What spiritual gifts have you harvested in your life so far this year?
Farewells: What no longer serves? What is over? Say good-bye/ thank you.
Preserves: What will you keep as seed for the future?
Date: September 30th, 2023 at the Zinniker Farm
Time: 1:30pm, potluck dinner
Please bring a dish to share
Suggested donation: $15-25 for more info.