Greetings friends – I trust that your Labor Day was light filled.
Matthew 11:28-30: “28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
We brought a highlight to the biography of Elizabeth Vreede on her Death-day recently. And today I ran across this lecture which she gave on 11 July 1930, so I thought to share this interesting snippet:
“In conclusion, I would like to share with you the beautiful words of comfort which Rudolf Steiner spoke once during the time when we were standing in the midst of battle. It was in Copenhagen in 1911, when he was giving three lectures which were then printed in the little book ‘The Spiritual Guidance of Humankind.’
The three lectures that were then used as a basis for the book were preceded by this introduction, which, however, was not included in the printing, and which indeed also would not have fitted there. I would like to read to you the conclusion from this lecture. It is my own transcription- I do not have any other- and regrettably incomplete in places. But even if it were complete, it could hardly convey the immeasurable love, forgiveness and comfort that streamed from Rudolf Steiner to his listeners in this lecture. These were approximately his words:
~Henry Brown Fuller
‘A period of time such as ours, portending such tremendous events of soul, presents a special opportunity for us to enter profoundly into ourselves. In addition to the many duties that flow out of our movement, we must also draw into our own hearts, our own souls, so that we may clearly appreciate that only through sacrifice, are we able to follow the way which can bring a certainty in regard to the Mystery of Golgotha.
Significant times such as these must necessarily bring us something confirming the truth of the old saying, ‘where there is great light, there is much darkness’- Shadows that arise along with those gifts of which we have spoken here. This possibility of error necessarily exists in combination with the outpouring of great truths. Thus, more than at other times the human soul is at present open to error. It is also true that in the coming days of enlightenment, the greatest possible errors may occur. Error is easily possible for the weak human heart precisely because we shall be experiencing enormous events.
In consideration of what the occultists of all ages, with clear warning voices, have spoken about this possibility of error, we must learn to practice the tolerance of which we have spoken here. A blind subjection must, on the one hand, be avoided, for that can actually foster the possibility of error. On the other hand, it is also necessary to have an open heart for the new forces that will to flow now from spiritual worlds into humankind. Whoever is a good Anthroposophist knows that if we wish to foster the Light that is now wanting to stream into humankind, then we must recognize the errors that will flow into us along with the light.
Let us take confidence in knowing that there has never been a movement in which such open, loving hearts could be fostered as in our present- day movement. May we realize that it is better to be attacked by those who believe they have the only truth, in their opinion, than to attack them ourselves…between those two extremes there lies indeed a long path.
Despair may descend on us with the thought in these difficult times ‘How can I distinguish truth from error?’ In our striving, let us try to live in such a way that we can be strengthened by the idea that the truth will indeed be what can provide the highest impulses for humankind: The truth shall be closer to me than I am to myself. If I have this relationship to truth and if I should err in this Incarnation, then in the next Incarnation the truth itself will lead me back to what is right. It is better to err in this frame of mind than to cling to dogmas.
If we honestly strive for truth, then truth will be the victorious impulse in the world; through us, and through its inherent power.
If the communications of spiritual truths can awaken such feelings in the human soul, then there will be fulfilled in these Souls the mission of the new spiritual Revelation which has come into humankind – and will come ever more strongly in the future – in order to lead us up into spiritual worlds’ “.
TODAY in 1919 – Opening of the 1st Waldorf School in Stuttgart “A Ceremony of Cosmic Order”
“We can accomplish our work only if we do not see it as simply a matter of intellect or feeling, but, in the highest sense, as a moral spiritual task. Therefore, you will understand why, as we begin this work today, we first reflect on the connection we wish to create from the very beginning between our activity and the spiritual worlds. With such a task, we must be conscious that we do not work only in the physical plane of living human beings.
In the last centuries, this way of viewing work has increasingly gained such acceptance that it is virtually the only way people see it. This understanding of tasks has made teaching what it is now and that the work before us should improve. Thus, we wish to begin our preparation by first reflecting upon how we connect with the spiritual powers in whose service and in whose name each one of us must work. I ask you to understand these introductory words as a kind of prayer to those powers who stand behind us with Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition as we take up this task.
It is our duty to see the importance of our work. We will do this if we know that this school is charged with a particular task. We need to make our thoughts very concrete; we need to form our thoughts so that we can be conscious that this school fulfills something special. We can do this only when we do not view the founding of this school as an everyday occurrence, but instead regard it as a ceremony held within Cosmic Order. In this sense, I wish, in the name of the good spirit whose task it is to lead humanity out of suffering and misery, in the name of this good spirit whose task it is to lead humanity to a higher level of development in education. I wish to give the most heartfelt thanks to this good spirit who has given our dear friend Mr. Molt the good thoughts to do what he has done for the further development of humanity at this time and in this place, and what he has done for the Waldorf School. We are united with him in feeling the greatness of the task and of the moment in which it is begun, and in feeling that this is a festive moment in Cosmic Order, he will be able to work in our midst with the necessary strength.
We wish to begin our work with this in mind. We wish to see each other as human beings brought together by karma, who will bring about, not something common, but something that, for those doing this work, will include the feeling of a festive Cosmic moment. ~Rudolf Steiner, ‘The Foundations of Human Experience’.
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF WALDORF EDUCATION Even the large scale of the photograph did not permit the inclusion of hundreds of personages and Beings who deserve to appear. Among those from the Past are: Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, St. Luke, St. Paul, St Odelia, St Christopher, Pythagoras, Thales, Julius Caesar, William Blake, Buddha, Cicero, Albertus Magnus, Brunetto Latini, Zarathustra, Gilgamesh and Ibani, Novalis, Schiller, Christian Morgenstern, Karl Koenig, A.C. Harwood, Margaret Froehlich, Henry Barnes, Roy Wilkinson, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many, many others.
Our thanks to Paul McCartney, Jann Haworth, and Peter Blake, creators of the iconic album cover for the Beatles’ inimitable Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band .
Among those from the Present who should take their place in this photographic Pantheon are: Patrick Wakeford-Evans, Ted Mahle, Roberto Trostli, Torin Finser, Karine Munk Finser, John Alexandra, Betty Staley, Douglas Gerwin, Arthur Auer, Norman Davidson, Clifford Monks, Arline Monks, Ida Oberman, Brian Gray, Michael Heffernan, Jaimen McMillan, Bonnie River, Thom Schaefer, Donna Long, Prairie Adams, Anna Rainville, David Mitchell, Chip Romer, Allegra Allesandri, Susan Olson, Kim John Payne, Jamie York, and many, many others. ~Eugene Schwartz
Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire Celebrating
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share,& a jar for the prep
~Art Of The New Deal: How Artists Helped Redefine America During The Depression
Labor Pains 2023
While firing up the BBQ & setting out the disposable plates, most folks probably don’t think about Labor Day as a holiday commemorating the battle for human rights. But this is its origin.
~Thomas Hart Benton
In the volatile time between the Civil War & the Great Depression there was a massive sea-change within society – The industrial revolution was sweeping in – & millions of Americans were forced to leave their farms & move to cities in search of work. They found themselves on the assembly line in dark factories & in the newly-formed rail, steel, textile, & shipping industries.
Soon economic recession became a thing, creating mass poverty – throwing enormous numbers of people out of work. The Rights realm, in relation to the Economic & Cultural realms, was not up to morally dealing with how employers should treat their workers. There was no clear concept of how the wealth they all collectively produced would be distributed. Inequality soared to enormous heights. Growing corporations were making workers their indentured slaves.
Labor Unions were growing as the one avenue by which workers could fight for their interests, & the economy saw waves of regular strikes & work stoppages that would be unheard of today. The minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, laws against child labor, & more were only instituted after pitched political combat.
Sometimes, the battles were literal: Employers & politicians were not shy about busting unions with police as well as hired enforcers. Riots, deaths, & bombings were not uncommon.
The first inklings of America’s Labor Day took shape in 1882, when the Central Labor Union (CLU) met in September in New York City for a labor festival. Peter McGuire, a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), who was inspired by a parade in Toronto in 1872 in support of a strike against the 58-hour work week, may have been the 1st to propose the idea of a ‘Labor Day’. Other research points to Matthew Maguire, a machinist & member of the Knights of Labor. But somehow or another, the idea for a parade & yearly holiday to honor American workers was hatched.
The first parade of the new project was held in Manhattan on Sept. 5, 1882. It started out small, but then a band showed up, & workers’ groups from various industries began to flow in. Eventually the parade swelled to 10,000. After that initial success, various state & municipal governments began naming an official day to commemorate labor.
Then a massive recession hit in 1893. The job losses were devastating — & the frustration crystallized in a nationwide strike against the Pullman Company, a railroad car manufacturer & founder of one of the most infamous company towns in America, keeping the workers in appalling living conditions.
Railroad baron George Pullman created his eponymous town in 1880 just outside Chicago. This is part of the history that has affected the ‘Spirit of Place’ in which I live here in Chicago. It was a model of capitalist feudalism, where workers were moved into housing in line with their position in the company. Residents worked for Pullman’s company & their rent was automatically docked from their paychecks. They even had to bank at Pullman’s corrupt bank. But Pullman’s business plummeted when the recession hit. Hundreds were laid off & wages were deeply cut — yet rents in the town did not decline.
In response, 4,000 of Pullman’s workers went on strike on May 11, 1894. On June 26, the American Railroad Union — led by Eugene V. Debs — called for a supporting boycott. One 100,50 railway workers in 27 states joined the strike, refusing to operate Pullman rail cars. The massive halt to the rail industry & the interruption of U.S. mail cars set off a national crisis.
Congress & President Grover Cleveland, looking to save face, rushed through a bill declaring Labor Day a national holiday. Cleveland signed it on June 28, 1894. He was backed by the AFL — the more conservative portion of the labor movement — which threw the first official Labor Day parade that year.
~Pullman Strike, 1894 Drawing by Granger
But it was a brutally ironic gesture. Six days later, under pressure from the furious leaders of the rail industry, & facing the virtual shutdown of U.S. mail trains, President Cleveland invoked the ‘Sherman Antitrust Act’ to declare the work stoppage a federal crime. He sent in 12,000 federal troops to break the strike. Days of fighting & riots ensued, as strikers overturned & burned railcars, & the troops responded with violent crackdowns. Over 30 workers were killed before the strikers were dispersed & the trains restarted.
President Cleveland & others picked the September date for Labor Day as a kind of alternative to May Day, which had by then arisen as the principal day of celebration for workers’ movements around the world. On May 1, 1886, over 250,000 workers struck in Chicago, shutting down 13,000 businesses to demand a shorter work week for equal pay. After several days of peaceful protest, an ‘unknown assailant’ threw a bomb at police in Haymarket Square on May 4. The police responded by firing into the crowd, killing scores of people. Some speculate that this assailant was a paid provocateur.
How ironic that now Labor Day is just an excuse for a commercialized, lazy-apolitical 3-day weekend, which his been totally disconnected from the remembrance of when workers fought & died for the basic human decency of a shorter work week.
And we can also look at Labor Day as a remembrance of a time when the labor movement was a force to be reckoned with. Since the heyday of the New Deal, American membership in labor unions has collapsed. And of course like everything that turns corporate, the Labor Unions became corrupt. Today Millions of workers in modern service industries face capricious employment, low pay, & dismal conditions. Inequality has returned to its pre-Great-Depression levels, & the shared prosperity of the era immediately after the New Deal is a distant memory. Even the 40-hour work week is falling by the wayside.
Dear freinds – Labor Day is ripe for renewal. Isn’t it time to take up The 3-Fold Social Organism as inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s Spiritual Science?
There isn’t, nor should there be, a ready-made ‘social program’ or ‘regulation’ to solve all of our problems. We each have to take-up social ideals that serve the highest good of the all – & work together to transform the communities we belong to. We must each work with the ‘Spirit of Place’ in which our karma has placed us, to co-create a movement for Freedom based on Love, in our Cultural Sphere; Equity in our Rights Realm; & in the sphere of Economics, we must foster an association of Sister/brotherhood – Then our Labor pains will give birth to a practical 3-fold Social Movement that brings harmony to humanity.
~Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.
4 September 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The trio will rise after 10 pm – visible thru dawn.
RUDOLF STEINER’S CALENDAR OF THE SOUL translated (with added titles) by Roy Sadler AUTUMN PRELUDE II The Ripening Of Self v22 The cosmic light lives on with inner power, becomes the light of soul and shines in depths of spirit to free the fruits of Cosmic Self that from them in the course of time the Human Self will ripen.
This is the second verse of the Light Quartet: its mirror verse in November is the third one. ALL HALLOWTIDE II The Ripening Of Creative Powers v31 The light from spirit depths strives outwards like the sun, becomes life’s strength of will and shines in senses’ dullness to free the forces that ripen creative powers in human work the soul initiates.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s Original Calendar of the Soul: “What is presented here can be useful to those who wish to follow the path of humankind’s spiritual development“)
“And when Moses came down from the mount Sinai, he held the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands,: and he knew not that his head was horned with light from the conversation of the YHWH. And Aaron and the children of Israel seeing the head of Moses horned with light were afraid to come near… he gave them in commandment all that he had heard of the YHWH in mount Sinai…And having done speaking, he put a veil upon over his head…~ Exodus 34:29-35
Birth & Death-day of MOSES (from Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul):
According to Egyptian astrologers, the liberator of the children of Israel was to be born on this day – So all the male children were to be thrown into the water by order of King Pharaoh.
Jochebed, Amram‘s wife, mother of Miriam, & Aaron, gave birth to her third child, a boy that morning at sunrise. Right from that moment the house was filled with a radiant light, so they knew he was an extraordinary child. After three months, Jochebed saw that she would not be able to conceal her child any longer. So she made a small, water-proof basket & set him down among the papyrus reeds growing on the brink of the Nile. Miriam remained nearby to watch the baby.
The day was hot, & King Pharaoh’s daughter, Bithya, came out to the river, accompanied by her maids, to take a bath in the cool waters of the Nile. Suddenly, she heard the wailing of a small child, & she found the basket. Intrigued by the child’s beauty, Bithya tried to figure out a way to enable her to keep him for herself & save him from death, for she understood that this boy was from a Jewish family.
The child refused to be nursed by any of the Egyptian maids-in-waiting, & continued to weep. At this moment, Miriam came over to the princess & offered to find a Jewish nurse. Bithya was glad of this solution, so Miriam rushed home & brought her mother Jochebed, to be his ‘nurse’. For two years the baby was left in his mother’s care.
Meanwhile Bithya told Pharaoh about the boy she had adopted. Her father did not object as he felt sure that the danger had already been averted years ago. So Moses was taken to the royal court, where he grew up as the princely adopted son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.
Once it happened that Moses was playing on King Pharaoh’s lap. He saw the shining crown, studded with jewels, reached for it & took it off. Pharaoh, asked his astrologers for the meaning of this action. They interpreted it to mean that Moses was a threat to Pharaoh’s crown & suggested that the child be put to death before it could do any harm. But one of the king’s counselors suggested that they should first test the boy to see whether his action was prompted by an evil intelligence, or if he was merely grasping for sparkling things as any other child would.
Pharaoh agreed to this, & two bowls were set down before young Moses. One contained gold & jewels, & the other held glowing fire-coals. Moses reached out for the gold, but an angel re-directed his hand to the coals. Moses snatched a glowing coal & put it to his lips. He burned his hand & tongue, but his life was saved.
After that fateful test, Moses suffered from a slight speech defect. He could not become an orator, but G‑d’s words that were spoken to him & with the help of his brother Aaron & sister Miriam, he was able to fulfill his mission.
At age 20, Moses fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian he saw beating a Jew &made his way to Midian, where he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, & fathered two sons, Gershom & Eliezer.
When he was 80 years old, Moses was shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep when G‑d revealed himself to him in a burning bush at Mount Horeb (Sinai) & instructed him to liberate the Children of Israel. Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt, performed numerous miracles for them (the ten plagues in Egypt, the splitting of the sea, extracting water from a rock, bringing down the manna, etc), received the Torah from G‑d & taught it to the people, built the Mishkan (Divine dwelling) in the desert, & led the Children of Israel for 40 years as they journeyed through the wilderness; but G‑d did not allow him to bring them into the Holy Land. Moses passed away on his 120th birthday on Mount Nebo, within sight of the land he yearned to enter.
According to Konrad Burdach, Rudolf Steiner connects Moses in a later incarnation as Goethe, in a special lecture in the GA 138 series
1150 – Feast day of St. Rosalia – born of a Norman noble family that claimed descent from Charlemagne. Devoutly religious, she retired to live as a hermit in a cave on Mount Pellegrino, where she died alone in 1166. Tradition says that she was led to the cave by two angels. On the cave wall she wrote “I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.”
In 1624, a plague beset Palermo. During this hardship Saint Rosalia appeared first to a sick woman, then to a hunter, to whom she indicated where her remains were to be found. She ordered him to bring her bones to Palermo and have them carried in procession through the city.
The hunter climbed the mountain & found her bones in the cave as described. He did what she had asked in the apparition. After her remains were carried around the city three times, the plague ceased. After this Saint Rosalia was venerated as the patron saint of Palermo, & a sanctuary was built in the cave where her remains were discovered.
On September 4 there is a tradition of walking barefoot from Palermo up to Mount Pellegrino. In Italian American communities in the United States, the September feast brings large numbers of visitors annually to the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn in New York City.
1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.
1886 – After almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona.
1888 – George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak& receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film.
1949 – The Peekskill riots erupt after a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, New York.
1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
1957 – Little Rock Crisis: Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.
1957 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel.
1965 – Death-Day of Albert Schweitzer, French-Gabonese physician, theologian, missionary, & Nobel Prize laureate.
From the memoirs of Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965): “My first encounter with Rudolf Steiner took place on the occasion of a Theosophical conference in Strasbourg. If I’m not mistaken, it was in 1902 or 1903. Annie Besant, with whom I was acquainted through Strasbourg friends, introduced us. At that time Rudolf Steiner acted in connection with the Theosophical Society, not so much because he shared its convictions, but because he found in its members the possibility to find understanding and interest for the spiritual truths which he had to make known.
The language mostly used at that Theosophical conference was French. So they counted on me, because I spoke German, to take care of the Austrian guest, which I gladly did. I arranged it so we were neighbors at meals during the conference. From the beginning, he was the talker and I the listener and questioner during our conversations.
Before we had consumed the soup, a discussion spontaneously arose about his studies of Goethe in Weimar and about Goethe’s Weltanschauung (or world view). I immediately became aware that my companion had extensive knowledge of natural science. It was a great surprise to me that he spoke of the need to recognize the importance of Goethe’s knowledge of nature. He had been able to penetrate from a superficial knowledge of the sense world to a more profound knowledge of spiritual being. I knew something about Goethe’s natural scientific writing and the places where he sought a perceptual knowledge. My table partner realized that he had an attentive listener beside him. He gave a lecture. We forgot that we were supposed to be eating. In the afternoon we stood around together, not paying much attention to what was happening at the Theosophical conference.
When the discussion turned to Plato, I could participate more. Steiner surprised me here as well, in that he revealed hidden aspects of Plato’s knowledge that I had not yet appreciated.
When Steiner asked me what concerned me especially in theology, I answered that it was research into the historical Jesus. Well, I felt the moment to have come in which I could take the conversation in hand and began to lecture him about research into the life of Jesus and about which Gospel contained the oldest tradition. To my astonishment, he did not discuss this subject. He let me lecture on without saying a word. I had the impression that he was mentally yawning. I got off my theological social-scientific high horse and put it in the stable, and waited for what would come.
Then something remarkable happened. One of us, I don’t remember which, began to speak of the spiritual decline of culture as the fundamental, unnoticed problem of our time. Thus we realized that we were both preoccupied with it. We had not expected that of each other. A lively discussion resulted. We learned from each other that we had both taken on a lifetime mission of working for the emergence of a true culture enlivened by the ideal of encouraging people to become truly thinking beings. We parted with this consciousness of belonging together without arranging for another meeting. But the consciousness of togetherness remained. We each followed the activities of the other.
I never took part in Rudolf Steiner’s flights of thought in the spiritual sciences. But I know that he elevated many people through those flights and made new human beings of them. His disciples have made excellent contributions in many fields. I have followed Rudolf Steiner’s life and activities with heartfelt participation. Notable were his successes until World War I, the problems and hardships that accompanied them, his courageous efforts in the postwar confusion to create order through teaching about the Threefold Social Organism, his founding of the Goetheanum in Dornach, where his thought-world found a home, the pain caused by its destruction by fire on New Year’s Eve 1922-3, the courage with which he went about its reconstruction, and finally the spiritual greatness of his tireless teaching and activity during the suffering of the last months of his life on earth.
Neither did he lose sight of me. He took note of the 1923 publication of my Verfall und Wiederaufbau der Kultur and Kultur und Ethik. In a lecture, he appreciated the analysis of the cultural problems those books offered but made no secret of his regret that I tried to solve the problems with ethical thinking alone, without the help of spiritual science. During my meeting with him, his face with his wonderful eyes made an unforgettable impression on me.”
Albert Schweitzer also reported on this meeting to the composer-conductor Bruno Walter:
“I continually occupied myself with Steiner and was always conscious of his importance. What we had in common was that we both wanted culture to stand in place of its lack. This bond arose in Strasburg. He expected culture from ethical thinking and the knowledge of spiritual science. According to my nature, I had to stay with letting it arise through concentration on the essence of the ethical. In this way I came to the ethics of Reverence for Life and hoped for the emergence of culture from it. I know that Rudolf Steiner regretted my remaining in the old way of thinking. But we had both experienced the same responsibility to lead men to true culture again.”
Albert Schweitzer reported to Camille Schneider in Strasburg in 1951:
“Our goals are the same. Our paths are apparently different. Whereas Rudolf Steiner as spiritual researcher advances towards the experience of Christ by means of exercises, thinking, and mysticism, I have attempted to encounter Christ Jesus through thoughtful knowledge of the eschatological content of his teachings. And I encounter him daily in my work with the blacks of Africa. From this twofold experience, I derive the foundation of my life’s ethic. That is what matters to me.”
In 1922, after the First World War, Albert Schweitzer visited Rudolf Steiner in Dornach. Camille Schneider reports:
“Albert Schweitzer informed me that he once visited Rudolf Steiner in Dornach. He couldn’t say exactly in what year. He spoke with him about the necessity, after World War I, for a new penetration of cultural life with religious impulses and said that he recognized him to be a great man, who with comprehensive knowledge and astounding wisdom transforms all the information and opinions we hear or read daily without always understanding their deeper meanings. ‘An initiate in the sense of Edouard Schuré’, Dr. Schweitzer added, because shortly before we had spoken about Schuré and his book The Great Initiates.”
Emil Bock dates this meeting in autumn, 1922:
“Many years ago – it was 1922 – we were in preparation for the founding of the Christian Community in Dornach, and I went to Dr. Steiner in order to ask him something. He received me with glowing eyes: ‘Just think! Albert Schweitzer was with me today. He is really an important personality.'”
1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page & Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.
Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share,& a jar for the prep
“Of what significance is it to one who has gone through the gates of death when they now see embedded in the souls ebbing and flowing in our world, the memories which these souls streaming by have of the dead? When they perceive these memories what do they mean to our beloved dead?.. “ ~Rudolf Steiner*
Dear friends – For many years I have made working with the dead an important priority in my life of Applied Anthroposophy. Our dearly beloved give us so much when we dedicate our thinking toward them in the spiritual realms.
I love this idea from Rudolf Steiner: ‘We are the art of the dead’.*
We are called to continue our relationships with those across the Threshold. The Original Calendar of the Soul given to us by Rudolf Steiner with its marking of the birth & death days of notable individuals, affords us many opportunities to consider how our memories, spiritual thoughts, & the reading of Anthroposophical content, can be to those in the spiritual world – What would it be like to imagine it like how art is to us in the physical world..?
We are called to turn our thoughts to the spiritual worlds, not out of mere fancy, or with a wish they could still be with us, but “because of the conviction gained through Spiritual Science that in turning our thoughts to the other worlds, we are able to make a contribution to this world, by ennobling and invigorating the conceptions needed for our willing, thinking, and feeling.”*
We turn our thoughts to those we have known, or admired, in the knowledge out of spiritual science, that we can be helpful to them – & they to us, as we continue our relationship.
It seems that lately we been given some powerful opportunities to practice this. It’s always interesting to me when I take the time to connect the dots between various souls who were born or died on the same day.
Today we have an interesting combination. So take a breath, it’s going to be a long post. Just take what sticks out for you & leave the rest. And as always Please share what comes up for you.
Blessings on this working:
TODAY in1889 – Birthday of Lili Kolisko a scientist & anthroposopher. The rising image method she developed enabled the detection of cosmic effects in earthly substances for the first time & made her a pioneer of biodynamic agriculture.
She was the daughter of a typesetter, born in Vienna. Together with her two step-sisters, she grew up very poor, burdened by her father’s drunkenness. Still she was able to attend high school & graduate with honors. After the outbreak of the First World War, she worked at a hospital where she learned to use a wide variety of medical laboratory techniques. This is where she met the young assistant doctor Eugen Kolisko. They were married in 1917. Both were united by a strong interest in the natural sciences & anthroposophy .
After Lili Kolisko had met Rudolf Steiner for the first time in 1915 , she wrote a letter asking for suggestions for the development of a chemistry oriented towards the humanities.
In 1919 the Kolisko couple had a daughter & the family moved to Stuttgart , where Eugen Kolisko worked as a teacher in the newly founded Waldorf School .
In July of the same year, Eugen Kolisko & Rudolf Steiner researched a cure for foot-and-mouth disease, which was rampant at the time. Lili Kolisko was entrusted with the laboratory work required to find out the correct dosage of the agent.
Rudolf Steiner instructed her to carry out germination experiments on plants with various dilutions & to record the result in the form of a curve. Lili Kolisko also examined the blood of the sick animals &, in 1922, when little was known about the function of the spleen, was able to prove a metabolic regulator secreted by the spleen in her pioneering work “Spleen function and the platelet question”. In the course of this work with Steiner they founded the Biological Institute at the Goetheanum..
Rudolf Steiner considered Lili Kolisko’s research work to be very important & often visited her in her laboratory to discuss the results & provide further suggestions. He worked with both Koliskos emphasizing that science needed to overcome the prevailing materialism, to make visible the ethereal qualities in matter. Together with Steiner, Lili Kolisko developed potentization methods where the material substance was gradually thinned beyond the limits of physcial, so that the etheric efficacy emerged more & more clearly. In germination tests with plants, in the dilutions, she denoted the rhythmic properties directed by Steiner’s indications.
“Lili Kolisko’s studies of the effects of the smallest entities, have put everything that has been touching in homeopathy on such a thorough scientific basis in such a brilliant way. One can consider it absolutely scientific that the smallest entities, in tiny quantities – precisely the radiant forces which are used in the organic world – are released by using these minute quantities in a corresponding way. ” ~Rudolf Steiner, GA 327
In the afterword of her study, which summarizes her work from 1923 – 1959 on the physiological & physical proof of the effectiveness of the smallest entities , Lili Kolisko writes: “In the course that Rudolf Steiner held for doctors in Switzerland in 1920, he described it as “a beautiful task to show the effects that emerge during potentiation in certain curves”. It was a nice job. Time and again one convinces oneself that if one takes Rudolf Steiner’s words seriously and follows his suggestions, they will come true in every detail. Plant growth shows an effectiveness again and again, but it is no longer bound to a substance. One perceives effects – without being able to prove a substance for it. You stand in amazement and admiration in front of the sheer effects of forces. A wonderful rhythm swings through the substance, from the terrestrial to the cosmic…You have to learn to read the curves. That too is a nice job. In Jahn in 1926, I wrote in the epilogue of the book “Physiological evidence of effectiveness smallest entities in seven metals”: The curves are spiritual into the physical shut fetched images realities they reflect Weltgesetzmäßigkeiten again! If one keeps in mind, you do not shy away from the effort to penetrate deeper into this wonderful area and to think in gratitude to Rudolf Steiner, who made this knowledge accessible to us. “~ Lili Kolisko
This rhythmization method developed by Lili Kolisko, in which she worked out differentiated shaking rhythms for individual substances, was groundbreaking for later anthroposophical research on medicinal products.
On the basis of this procedure, she also examined the influence of cosmic constellations on the creative forces in the following decades. In an elaborate series of tests with one percent metal salt solutions, she was able to determine the effect of solar and lunar eclipses and the influence of the planetary movements on the seven planetary metalsdocument. I published the results of some of her work: The “star work in earth materials” during the Cosmic & Earthly Easter event a few years back.
Together with her husband, Lili Kolisko was very active in the Anthroposophical Society. After the Christmas conference in 1924 she was commissioned by Rudolf Steiner to read the esoteric instructions given by Steiner, the so-called ‘class hours’, for the teachers of the Stuttgart Waldorf School as part of the newly established ‘First Class of the School of Spiritual Science.
After Rudolf Steiner’s death in 1925, the working conditions for the Kolisko couple, who were close to Ita Wegman & Elisabeth Vreede, became increasingly difficult due to the ongoing disputes.
Lili Kolisko’s work was also largely ignored by the anthroposophical doctors & only given little financial means, because she was not considered competent enough because she had no academic medical or pharmaceutical training. The couple left Stuttgart in 1934 & moved to London, where the ‘International Association for the Advancement of Spiritual Science’ was to be established at the suggestion of the English anthroposopher Daniel Nicol Dunlop . The plan failed because Dunlop died the following year.
In 1939 Lili Kolisko’s husband Eugen died suddenly & unexpectedly of a heart attack in a lonely train compartment of a suburban train . From then on, Lili Kolisko lived very withdrawn, but she continued her research tirelessly under the most difficult financial conditions. She also translated numerous works by her late husband into English. In 1961 she was able to complete the biography of her husband Eugen Kolisko, in which she also reports in great detail about the bitter experience with the Anthroposophical Society after Steiner’s death.
1905 – The birthday of Bernard Lievegoed born in Sumatra. His father was a journalist, his mother a teacher. When Bernard was 2 years old he contracted cholera & became paralyzed on one side. He did not learn to walk again until he was 4 years old. His daughter Christie Amons-Lievegoed points out: “When one realizes what learning to walk means in a child’s life, one can see that having to learn to walk twice has been an enormous training of will for him.” She also describes Bernard as a dreaming child, open to the wonders found in the tropical nature of his childhood, which had a deep influence. Bernard often gave credit to this upbringing which he saw as giving him ‘rich life forces’ that fortified not only his health but also the liveliness of his thinking.
His daughter describes: “In Sumatra, behind a ditch at the end of the garden, the jungle began. He saw monkeys in the trees and heard all the wonderful sounds that emanate from such a jungle at night. That fueled his imagination. What nature also provided for opportunities for adventure is described in the booklet: “The eye of the needle. We as children could not imagine our father on a crocodile hunt, although there was still much in our house that reminded us of the “Indonesian” time, such as wayang puppets and – indeed – a crocodile skin!”
Bernard’s technical interest was also apparent at an early age, diving his father’s car in the mountains. He loved all technical gadgets.
His childhood had a cosmopolitan character; it made him a citizen of the world. His journalist father took him to Washington DC, to visit the United States Congress, where he witnessed the declaration of war on Germany. Thru his father, but also thru the cultural differences between his classmates, he experienced a lot of international politics.
At the age of 17 he went to The Hague & took his final exams there. He then decided to study medicine in Groningen.
Bernard Lievegoed was 21 years old when he encountered anthroposophy. Many ‘greats’ of the medical & pedagogical movement were present at a conference in The Hague in 1926, one year after Rudolf Steiner’s death. Thru the stories of the people who had known him, Bernard experienced Rudolf & called him his true teacher.
After graduation & military service, an important event took place in 1930, a turning point in Bernard’s life – camp “De Stakenberg”, an international meeting of anthroposophists with 1200 participants.
Bernard, aged 25, was assigned the organization of this huge camping experiment & Nel Schatborn, (who later became his 2nd wife) still a medical student, became camp commander. Truus Hinse, Bernard’s fiancée, was also present; a meeting of 3 people who would be intimately intertwined with each other’s destinies. During this camp, Bernard decides to commit himself to curative education.
He visits the “Lauenstein” in Germany, the Clinic with “Sonnenhof” as an annex in Arlesheim [Switzerland] & has the feeling of being “at home at last”. He is deeply impressed by the mood, the approach & the medical care of the children.
On September 19, 1931, the Zonnehuis in Bosch en Duin was opened, with 6 children. A year later, Bernard sends a telegram to the head of the medical movement, Ita Wegman, with the text: “Habe neues Haus kauft” (I’ve bought a new house).
His first years in curative education are characterized by great intimacy & intensity of work. There was no money, & there were also few employees who knew what anthroposophical education entailed. He worked closely in consultation with Ita Wegman about spiritual, but also extremely practical matters. She was like a mother of the emerging international curative education movement. She also gave her warm support to the initiative in Holland.
For Bernard, work in Bosch en Duin begins with the deepest confrontation of his life. He is deeply saddened that Truus, whom he has been married to less than a year, dies after the birth of their son. She was only 23 years old, he was 27 years old. While he experiences deep despair inwardly, the work must be built up. Outwardly, Europe darkens. He then says: “It is my sole purpose to bring the work of Rudolf Steiner to the world. Young people must find spiritual food against National Socialism” & he wants to make sure that the Zonnehuis can have an impact in cultural life.
In 1934 Nel Schatborn comes to the Zonnehuis & a year later they get married. This is followed by the intensive years of ever-deepening curative education, of medical work & lectures in the country, of his doctorate & the trials of the Second World War.
Immediately after, one of his children dies, a grief that opens him to whole new questions. They come to meet him from the business community & prepare his professorships in Rotterdam & Enschede & his many lecture tours.
The very 1st lecture for the ‘Society for Industry & Trade’ in 1948 has far-reaching consequences, bringing questions from the business community with an emphasis on education & training. In 1953, the ‘Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences’ [now Erasmus University] appointed him professor by special appointment of social pedagogy.
In order to have a practice ground, he founded the ‘NPI’ (Dutch Pedagogical Institute for Business) in 1954. It was an entirely new initiative within Dutch society – He shows how organizations can be seen as living organisms that go thru developmental phases. The work becomes very fruitful, courses are given for managers & bosses, it was about serving & bringing out the best in people.
Bernard Lievegoed speaks of the “spirit capital of a company”, which is just as important as the economic & the production process.
In 1961 he took over the presidency of the Anthroposophy Association in Nederland (until 1975) from Willem Zeylmans van Emmichoven, who died unexpectedly.
Between 1968 & 1976 he was appointed to the Government Commission for Education, which was to reform the Dutch education system in Holland.
He was the chairman of the supervisory board of the Dutch Waldorf school teacher training VPA ( Vrije Pedagogische Akademie , today Hogeschool Helicon ). In 1973 he left Erasmus University to work for the Vrije Hogeschool (now Bernard Lievegoed College for Liberal Arts ), which he founded in 1971 working as rector until 1982.
In the last two decades before his death in 1992, he was increasingly active as a writer & lecturer. He exerted a lasting influence on the anthroposophical movement worldwide. His book ‘The Battle for the Soul’ was said to have been ‘wrested from him on his deathbed’ & only published after his death, changed my life in helping me see how I can put Anthroposophy into practice.
He was an innovator in many areas, with a special intuition for what was happening at the time; that is why his initiatives always gained social support. He knew that warm, spirit-filled enthusiasm creates fertile seeds for life – now & in the future.
1973 – Deathday of J.R.R Tolkien. His tales tell the story of human evolution in the form of a myth or fairy tale – reminiscent of the initiation rites seen in the occult traditions, & in a renewed sense in Spiritual Science. Tolkien tells about a humanity born from the Music of the spiritual Hierarchies – coming to Earth immortal & perfect, & transforming this original pureness in a love for Earth & her creations. The way Tolkien chooses numbers, images, events – everything is amazingly similar to the ancient teachings – Yes, everything reveals this presence in Tolkien’s soul – an artistic forming of past incarnations & certainly influenced by the anthroposophical Christology discussed with his friend Owen Barfield – revealing deep knowledge & images, that whisper into his inspired ear -The precise & patient, but non-intellectual, inner dialogue with the spiritual streams of a human civilization from the past, into the present & future time.
2009 – Deathday of Ernst Katz, a great teacher of anthroposophy based for many years in Ann Arbor MI, where he was professor of physics at the University there. At the retreat I attended last year in Ann Arbor, as part of the General Council of the ASA , the local community shared many stories about this powerful thinker. We heard that at the tender age of 16 Ernst joined the Anthroposophical Society & for his long life of 96 years was fully dedicated to Spiritual Science as a way of life & method of understanding the human being’s purpose on Earth.
Ernst ran the legendary Ann Arbor study group which at first held its meetings in various members’ homes. The protocol was as the same oneused in the CRC study group: Designated people present a short recap in their own words of the Steiner lecture followed by a general discussion in the group. Many folks were drawn to Ernst’s quiet way of leading. Attendance was typically 25 to 30 eager anthroposophers, & discussion was lively.
Even his physics students at the university recognized his extraordinary teaching skills & moral character. It was clear to all that Ernst saw every human connection as an event of destiny, & he treated each one with respect & reverence.
It was Ernst’s suggestion that the members of the study group buy an old abandoned fraternity house to create a place for university students interested in spiritual development to live & study – & the Rudolf Steiner House of the Great Lakes Branch was born. For many years Ernst & his wife Katherine were overseers of the building which was donated to the Anthroposophical Society in America & is now the society’s headquarters. He is still teaching from the spiritual world today!
*“Each time that a dead person receives a remembrance of themself in the soul of a person who was in some way connected with them, it is always as if something streamed over to them as beauty, enhancing their life. And as to us here on earth, beauty comes from Art, so to the dead, beauty streams to them from what rays forth out of the hearts and souls of those who keep them in memory…” ~Rudolf Steiner, GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: LECTURE 4: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL WORLDS, AND HOW THEY ARE EXPERIENCED AFTER DEATH – Berlin, 7th December, 1915.
Thank you dear friends for keeping the connection alive!
2 September 2023 – “Speaking with the stars”: Tonight around midnight Venus (Occult Mercury) stands stationary, bringing its current retrograde path to an end. Rising now before sunrise amid the stars of Cancer the Crab – to the lower right (southeast) of the Beehive Cluster.
Greetings friends – Not sure if it was the residue from the Full Blue Corn/Sturgeon Moon or if Night School was kicking into gear for the Fall Session, but I had a series of interesting encounters last night. I dreamt I was being led thru some tunnels that I knew were underneath the Chartres Cathedral. The being leading me was humming in deeply resonate tones, which vibrated thru my whole being. She was holding a flame what seemed to be coming right out of her hand. I stumbled over a brick in the stone floor & when I looked down, in the half darkness I saw a design that looked like the Christian fish symbol. I called out to the leader but she had gone ahead & now it was quite dark & when I tried to go forward I kept tripping on the many loose bricks. Each time my foot hit the stones a tone rang out, but I couldn’t see what symbol was on them. I was reaching out my hands to try & feel my way when I touched a wall that was so soft my hand seemed to sink right in…& then I woke up.
Later after my meditation & other various morning duties, I saw that Tom Mellett had reminded me in a commet from yeaterday that today was René Querido’s birthday. He wasn’t my teacher in person, but his books have been a powerful guide for me.
So today I will share a bit about this Modern Grail Knight:
René Querido was born 1 September 1926 in Amsterdam. He attended schools in Holland, Belgium, France & after the family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Holland – went to England. In his 21st year he encountered anthroposophy. In 1948 he graduated from London University in science & mathematics. From 1949 he taught French, geography, mathematics & world religions, for 15 years at the Michael Hall Waldorf School in Sussex. From 1958 he also worked as a class teacher. In the 1960s he was a leader in teacher training. From 1975 to 1977 he was co-created the Threefold Center for Adult Education, in Spring Valley, NY, where he also taught at the Green Meadow School. From 1977 to 1991 he headed the Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California. Starting in 1991 he lived & worked in Boulder, Colorado. In 1992, after the death of Werner Glas, René Querido was asked to become General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, which didn’t last long. Querido was the co-founder of numerous schools & anthroposophical institutions here & abroad; he gave lectures in almost every part of the world. René Querido is the author of several books.
The following interview with René Querido arose from questions by Thomas Meyer:
TM: Could you tell our readers something about your biographical background, your family name is Spanish and seems to indicate Spanish ancestry.
RQ: My family name actually goes back to Spanish-Portuguese origins in the 15th century. The family, together with the Spinoza, Casuto, Pereira and other families – twelve in all – were expelled from Portugal and found refuge in Amsterdam, where they founded a Portuguese community. Among the Queridos there is also an outstanding writer: Israel Querido, who wrote some impressive books in Dutch at the end of the last century, in the style of Dickens and Zola. He was strongly committed to the social issues of his time and was banished from the synagogue as a result of his Christian leanings.
TM: Which of Rudolf Steiner’s early students did you have a special relationship with after your discovery of anthroposophy?
RQ: Shortly after my encounter with anthroposophy at the age of twenty-one, I did come into close contact with a number of very remarkable personalities. The following people had the greatest and most significant influence on my whole future: Dr. WJ Stein, Dr. W. Zeylmans, Dr. Lehrs, Dr. Maria Lehrs (-Roeschl), Dr. Herbert Hahn, Dr. M. Kirchner-Bockholt, Erich Kirchner, Dr. van Deventer. I had the privilege of meeting these people regularly for many years. They were always willing to answer my questions and always gave me considerable encouragement.
TM: If I remember correctly, you also met Pierre Morisot , an important Chartres researcher and French student of R. Steiner?
RQ: I met Pierre Morisot on several occasions in Paris, from 1954 until his death. We used to chat in a bistro in the Latin Quarter. He dealt deeply with the Grail legend of Chrestien de Troyes. He spoke variously of Marie de Champagne, who was Chrestien’s inspirer. He was also linked to Chartres – and helped me understand the geology of the rocky plateau on which the cathedral was built – a mixture of granite and the region’s limestone. “Typical of old Druid circles,” he said. Morisot was a friendly, highly educated French gentleman who spoke softly but firmly. He had been an engineer.
TM: Not only did you often meet and experience Walter Johannes Stein , but also the young one Trevor Ravenscroft, who wrote the highly problematic book The Spear of Destiny after Stein’s death. What was your relationship with him and his work?
RQ: I didn’t meet Trevor Ravenscroft until after the death of WJ Stein [July 7, 1957]. We became friends, but I couldn’t accept a lot of what he did and said. He urged me to write a Grail book, which I refused. When I met him again much later, in 1976, in the middle of the night in London, and I was about to say something critical of his book, which had since appeared but he interrupted me with the remark that he had simply written it for the sake of easy money. I have pointed out in articles at various times that one-third of his book is true, one-third consists of half-truths, and one- third is simply the product of his fertile imagination.
TM: You also met Astrid Countess Bethusy-Huc once. What was your impression of this daughter of Helmuth and Eliza von Moltke, who played a modest but significant role in her parents’ lives?
RQ: Since this is a very moving story, I want to backtrack and share how it came about I was able to visit her in September 1958, three years before her death. It was a few months before WJ Stein’s death in the summer of 1957. For a number of years Stein had asked me to indicate the subjects on which he was to speak at Michael Hall on Wednesday evenings. I asked him again and again what he wanted to talk about, but for at least four years he steadfastly refused to respond and insisted that I choose the topic of the talk. Now, on this last occasion, I asked him to speak about occult events in recent history. He agreed and talked about Moltke’s fate, which I didn’t know anything about at the time. Not even from the ordinary historical point of view. His lecture made a deep impression on me; I wanted to know more; but he died away. Soon after his death I was at a conference in Arlesheim. During a coffee break, I looked around and considered who to approach. I chose Jürgen von Grone, who was amazed at my question about Moltke and told me that he was one of the few people (alongside Emil Bock) who was in possession of the post-mortem letters. Von Grone, who was personally well acquainted with Stein, had the impression that I was going through Stein & had been led to him. He invited me to visit him in Stuttgart at Easter (1958), where he promised to read me parts of Moltke’s notes . It was a deeply moving experience, but von Grone explained to me that I could learn half the story that way, but that I would also learn the other half if he were able to visit Astrid Countess Bethusy. And so it happened that in September 1958 I was to spend two days with Astrid Countess Bethusy. The first impression of this meeting was extraordinarily deep. Rosemarie, her daughter, met me at the train station and I was greeted by the Countess, an old lady dressed all in black who hardly spoke a word. I had lunch with the family, and then the countess told me in a low voice to come up to her room at five o’clock in the afternoon. As the old lady began to speak, she literally transformed into a being of light and warmth. She spoke in a strong voice and began to read certain things from the letters that von Grone had not told me. A conversation followed while the sun slowly went down and the room was flooded with a golden light. From this conversation I have the following points
• She emphasized that dark forces were also at work in the Odile stream.
• The monastery castle of Odilies represented a light to the east.
• Black magic powers that had been trained in the mystery centers of Italy worked against Nicholas [= Pope in the 9th century, † 867].
• During the time of St. Nicholas, Wilhelm II worked against the Christ impulse and persecuted many people.
• The danger at the end of the century consists of black “raven forces” (which should remain underground), but will try to rise above the heads of the people and weave an Ahrimanic net in order to cut off the people from the spiritual world . In 1924 they had already penetrated to the human diaphragm.
• Umi3* (*”Umi” is a spiritually important individuality, “a spirit that has been connected to us for thousands of years”) could not reincarnate due to his mystery betrayal. Rudolf Steiner gave the Countess meditations to help this individuality that had appeared spiritual to her .
• Michael’s altar in the astral world is a radiant one of Light.
• Rasputin has a terrible greed to reincarnate and he will bring with him Ahrimanic powers and other non-terrestrial beings and he will be destructive.
• Often the small things are spiritually more important than the apparently important external events.
• I met the Countess when she was 76 years old. She died in 1961, aged 94. Astrid was strongly attracted to anything religious in nature and had many spiritual experiences as a child and young woman. Rudolf Steiner referred to her connection to her mother and called them both “twins”. The countess married an older count Bethusy They had four children.
• She attended the performances of the Mystery Dramas and heard many of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures in Berlin.
• Rudolf Steiner gave her a series of meditations when she was 23 and 24 years old.
• She confirmed her mother’s connection with Odilie. – I had the impression that she was still in spiritual contact with her parents.
TM: You mentioned a meditation given to Astrid Bethusy by Rudolf Steiner, the wording of which is unknown, for the enigmatic individuality of the Umi. There are also some well-known proverbs for her as well as for her mother. They were usually placed on the reverse by R. Steiner written from photographs, as he did then with many close disciples.
RQ: When I asked the Countess in September 1958 which of the sayings meant for her R. Steiners considered her to be the most important, she said “This one here”: Let us, O world spirit, be imbued with a spirit-moving attitude, so that we do not miss what can be for the salvation of the earth and for the earth Progress, Lucifer and Ahriman in the right sense!
TM: Is there a specifically American way of absorbing anthroposophy, and how do people here come to it?
RQ: Anthroposophy tends to get a little wooden in the US. Most people find it either through Waldorf education for their children or through the arts, especially eurythmy.
TM: In your opinion, what personalities were important in establishing the anthroposophical movement in the USA?
RQ: One of the leading figures here was Mr. Greene, who was a voice teacher and who led the St. Mark’s group in one of the rooms at Carnegie Hall gathered Charlotte Parker; Henry Barnes and Paul Allen – just to name a few.
TM: What are your and your wife’s current activities in Boulder?
RQ: We are primarily active in the Boulder Anthroposophical Institution, which holds courses three times a week , while the work with the class texts takes place monthly. There are three Waldorf schools here.
TODAY 31 August in 1943 – Deathday of Elisabeth Vreede, a Dutch mathematician, astronomer & Anthroposophist – one of Rudolf Steiner’s closest co-workers, part of the the original Vorstand in Dornach . ‘Vreede’ translates from the Dutch as ‘Peace’.
Elisabeth Vreede was born in Holland, at The Hague, on 16 July 1879. She was a sensitive person, & later on in her life she played an important part in the life of Anthroposophia.
Elisabeth Vreede came into contact with Theosophy in her home growing up. She was interested early on in the starry sky, & while learning French, she read the works of Camille Flammarion, a French astronomer & author. Because of his scientific background, he approached reincarnation from the viewpoint of the scientific method, writing, “It is by the scientific method alone that we may make progress in the search for truth. Religious belief must not take the place of impartial analysis. We must be constantly on our guard against illusions.”
At the University of Leyden she studied mathematics, astronomy, Sanskrit, & philosophy (especially Hegel). She was also actively involved in student life, founding a boat club & was a council member of the students’ union.
After receiving her diploma in 1906, she gave instruction at a higher girl’s school in mathematics until 1910. Then she lived in Berlin, worked on her dissertation, & worked as a secretary for Rudolf Steiner. In April 1914, she moved to Dornach to help in the building of the first Goetheanum & was often found there carving wood.
Her first meeting with Rudolf Steiner took place at the Theosophical Congress in London in 1903. Vreede was leader of the mathematics & astronomy sections in the Goetheanum in Dornach from 1926 till 1935. In her capacity as leader of the Mathematical-Astronomical Section she wrote a monthly letter, then available by subscription, about both modern astronomy & classical astrology in the light of spiritual science. The letters included explanations of the fundamentals of astronomy & discussions of astrology in the modern world, with reference to such topics as the procession of the equinoxes, comets, solar & lunar eclipses, & the meaning of the Christian holidays such as Easter & Whitsun. The Letters in English translation were published in 2007 with the title Astronomy and Spiritual Science.
Rudolf Steiner said of her: ‘this individuality does not wish to be recognized …’ Elisabeth Knottenbelt in her memoirs describes statements about her: that ‘she incarnated too early’ for the sake of serving Rudolf Steiner. “for this task [the work with Rudolf Steiner] she had assumed the sacrifice of a premature incarnation. One who, for the sake of a spiritual mission, comes in this way to earth too early must forego a lot. To a great extent one leaves one’s karmic circle of human beings behind in the spiritual word. Her life was thus really a quite lonely one, only a few persons were grouped around her without any real connection.”
Olive Whicher, personal assistant to, & colleague of George Kaufmann, recalls: “Dr Vreede used to say half jokingly that she thought she wore ‘Tarnkappe’ – an invisibility cap. I think it is true, and furthermore that the invisible cap extends to quite central themes in Rudolf Steiner’s great impulse. No doubt, as the decades pass and the souls who harbour those vital impulses have turned again towards Earth, the invisible cap will wear thin and become transparent”.
“Chilly” was the single word that summed up Elisabeth Vreede for Ernesto Genoni, Australia’s foundational pioneer of biodynamics, when he met her in 1920. Other ﬁrst hand accounts bear out his impression.
Olive Whicher recalled that Elisabeth Vreede “bore the solemn and determined – even stern – expression of the thinker”.
Rudolf Steiner saw her in connection with the Platonic stream, & had indicated that she had incarnated earlier than planned in order to meet him on Earth.
Rudolf Steiner is reputed to have said that Dr. Vreede understood his work more deeply than anyone else.
After the War, Rudolf Steiner developed his idea of the threefold social order & she too had an intense interest in this initiative & work. She was the first to bring this idea of a threefold social order to England.
Elisabeth Vreede had moved to Dornach in 1913, initially living with the English sculptor, Edith Maryon.
Elisabeth Vreede experienced the tragedy of war 1st hand. She moved to Berlin (in 1916 -1917) to support British prisoners of war. She had lived in the same apartment block as Marie & Rudolf Steiner in Motzstrasse. In this philanthropic work, she worked with Dr Elisabeth Rotten – Quaker, peace activist, & co-founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Her feelings for Berlin were ambivalent: “my peculiar mood concerning Berlin – most wonderful and most terrible of all cities”.
Around 1918, Dr. Vreede began to construct the library & archive at the Goetheanum. Using her own means, she purchased the expensive lecture transcripts as soon as they were typed from notes. In 1920 she moved to Arlesheim, Switzerland, where she had built a little house for herself. It was the second house for which Steiner had given the model in 1919. George Kaufmann Adams wrote that: “The model for this house had been made by Edith Maryon with Dr Steiner’s help…’House Vreede’ on the hill at Arlesheim, looking straight across to the Goetheanum, became known through its hospitality to countless friends”.
Elisabeth Vreede attended Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture Course at Koberwitz, & was a member of the ‘Experimental Circle of Anthroposophical Farmers & Gardeners’ tasked with testing & progressing Rudolf Steiner’s “hints” for the development of a Holistic / Spiritual agriculture. She helped the farmers in developing & understanding the astronomical aspects of their work.
Vreede gave a lecture for “Agricultural Session” at Dornach in January 1926, called ‘The Signiﬁcance of Astronomy for Agriculture’.
At the Christmas Conference in 1924, Steiner appointed her to head the Mathematical-Astronomical Section of the School of Spiritual Science of the recently reestablished Anthroposophical Society, & she belonged to the board of directors of the general Anthroposophical Society from 1925 to 1935. Rudolf Steiner had declared: “Fräulein Vreede is one of those who best understands my lectures”
Lili Kolisko, biodynamics pioneer, wrote: “Elisabeth Vreede, PhD, was a member of the Executive Council, on whose opinion one laid very little – one could almost say, absolutely no – value. This was in spite of the fact that Dr Steiner introduced her in the Christmas Conference  with the following word: “Likewise, a very long-time member is the person I now mean and who has proven, right down to the last detail, to be the most loyal coworker here and with whom you really can also agree to the very last detail: Fraulein Dr Lili Vreede”
Rudolf Steiner stated: “her advice is always sought when we need to know something in the mathematical-astronomical realm … I wish to have this work carried on in the future by Fräulein Dr Vreede as Leader”.
In 1935 the separation within the Anthroposophical Society took place & she was expelled from the executive council & excluded along with her long-time friend & co-member, Dr. Ita Wegman from the board of directors. She was also cut off from the observatory & archives that she herself helped assemble.
Expelled at age ﬁfty ﬁve, Elisabeth Vreede continued to travel, often in Holland and England”, also to Italy, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, Ireland and Turkey. Her last trip to Germany was in 1938 to help Jewish members of the Anthroposophical. Months before her death, she delivered the eulogy at the funeral of fellow purgee, Ita Wegman (1876-1943).
The last years of her life became more lonely. She was cut off from her friends abroad by the War. The death of Ita Wegman at the beginning of March, 1943, was a great shock for her.
Here is a quote from a letter written by her prior to her removal from the executive council: “The Being of Anthroposophy – I myself have always felt it as a spiritual being newly created by Dr. Steiner, as it were the first hierarchical Being that men have begotten, quite young and still underdeveloped, as is the case with a child—a Being that must now begin to develop further through our common work as a ‘community of knowledge’, and with the cooperation of its creator from the spiritual world. Just for this reason I find it so painful when attacks are continually made against part of the active members such as to exclude them from the work, from creating together the Being of Anthroposophy.”
Dr. Vreede gave a lecture on 3 January 1926, which was first published in Vol. 6, Nos. 42 to 46, called The World of the Stars and Human Destiny. In it she addressed the appropriate use of Astrology in our time:
“You will now understand to what purpose we have a horoscope, and that it is not there in the first instance for our own sake. You will understand that when a horoscope is made for a person’s satisfaction, there is always a certain amount of egoism connected with it; for he does not possess it for this purpose! And if you take the passages in our literature where Dr. Steiner speaks about Astrology (there are passages in many of the cycles and lectures) you will find how he emphasizes again and again that Astrology must be something social, which pays no attention to the individual but has social aims. In a true Astrology only what is universally human is considered and not the satisfaction of the egoism of the human being. By considering it egoistically, that deed of Michael is undone whereby other beings ought to be saved from plunging into the abyss.
When Dr. Steiner asked the position of the stars at the moment of a birth, it was always with reference to children who lacked one or other of the forces just described. It was then possible to learn from it which of these forces was not there in the right sense; thus it could be gathered what this human soul lacked before birth. And then it might be possible under certain circumstances to find a cure. Here we see how the matter is carried away from what is egoistic and into the social, when such abnormal children may in this way find a cure, which otherwise might perhaps not be possible. But in those children in whom certain forces were not brought in at birth these influences remain present. …Thus we see how Astrology can be used when it is kept in Michael’s sense, and not in the sense in which it is so often practiced today.”
In 1928 she invited Willi Sucher to come to Dornach & collaborated with him in working out the death asterograms of historical personalities, which was part of his substantial historic research, & which he further worked out in the late 30’s & 40’s, doing the charts & therapeutic research of special needs children in England & Scotland.
On the anniversary, in 1943, of Rudolf Steiner’s death, she spoke to the circle of friends & co-workers at the Ida Wegman clinic. They wanted to commemorate not just Rudolf Steiner but the many others who were leading Anthroposophists but were no longer known to most. She spoke in a devoted way about Edith Maryon, who also died in 1924, & Alice Sauerwein. She portrayed Count Keyserlingk & Louis Werbeck, Caroline von Heydebrand & Eugen Kolisko.
At the beginning of May 1943 she spoke once more on the 400th anniversary of the death of Copernicus. At the lecture it was noticed that only by exceptional exertion could she keep herself upright. Just a few days later on 6 May, she had to take to her bed. She had never been ill nor depended on people until that point. Thanks to the devoted care of Frau Schunemann, she was treated at home until her passing on 31 August 1943 in Ascona.
“The stars bear for us the traces of the Deeds of the Gods which lead through the Beings of the hierarchies to the frontiers of Divinity Itself.”~Elisabeth Vreede
31 August 2023– “Speaking with the Stars” – Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is passing thru the outskirts of Perseus today. This region is rising after sunset & highest in the overnight hours, so if you can stay out late to observe it around midnight or later, your view will improve.
Look for the comet near Algol in Perseus, on the western border with Andromeda. Hartley 2 is a short-period comet that returns to our skies every 6.3 years. It is expected to brighten over the next two months, as it nears perihelion — the closest point to the Sun in its orbit — in mid-October.
1528 – Deathday of Matthias Grünewald a German Renaissance painter of religious works who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century. Only ten paintings—several consisting of many panels—& thirty-five drawings survive, all religious, although many others were lost at sea in the Baltic on their way to Sweden as war booty. His largest and most famous work is the Isenheim Altarpiece
1803 – Meriwether Lewis & William Clark start their expedition to the west
1869 – Deathday of Mary Ward, Irish astronomer & entomologist, killed when she fell under the wheels of an experimental steam car built by her cousins. She was the world’s first person known to be killed by a motor vehicle
1997 – Deathday of Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayed & driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris
Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share,& a jar for the prep