On this date 15 December, in 1911, in Berlin, Rudolf Steiner gave a side lecture during the AGM, called: AN IMPULSE FOR THE FUTURE, GA 252 – it announced an initiative for the creation of a smaller esoteric group: “A Society for Art and Culture”.
I thought to share some excerpts from this powerful call from the Spiritual World. To start let’s look at an Introduction by Marie Steiner published in 1947 about this historic event:
“Considering the difficulties of the times it seems an urgent duty to rescue what is possible to rescue of Dr. Steiner’s impulses and words. To these also belong many things said in intimate circles at certain decisive moments about the future tasks and objectives of the movement he inaugurated. He continually placed indications for later activity in our souls, seeds for the future…
Rudolf Steiner’s life work can give answers to this seeking and asking. He mastered today’s science; he reveals to us the spirit which strives hidden behind it. Through him we are able to divine impulsing forces.
Rescue planks for the unavoidable sinking of the ship were offered to us, but we were not mature enough to hold and use them. The souls were not awake enough, were still caught up in the old ideas. The attempts at social renewal were met with the hardest opposition from the outer world.
Standing now in the ruins of a battered world…Souls which consider themselves anchored in spirit, must pass a trial. Such a self-desired trial always calls forth an accelerated karma; also what is gladly hidden from the self must be revealed.
First Rudolf Steiner spoke about such future tasks to a very small circle of his students, trying to guide their souls to the meaning of those more distant tasks which must grow from a human will which has become free of selfishness.
He repeated these words for the second time to a larger circle on the occasion of the General Meeting, outside the program, on December 15, 1911.
He began the talk in an especially solemn manner. It was a direct message from the spiritual world. It was a call delivered to humanity – followed by waiting, to see what echo resulted.
Such a call happens as a rule three times. If the call also remains unheard the third time, it is taken back to the spiritual world for a long time. This call was already sent to humanity once, unfortunately it found no echo. This was the second time. It concerns purely spiritual things. With every futile attempt the conditions and relations become more difficult.
“My dear friends” is how he began according to the notes.”
The following excepts are from notes provided by Bertha Reebstein-Lehmann, Meita Pyle-Waller & Elisabeth Vreede, reviewed & corrected by Rudolf Steiner.
“…The attempt must be made against all the principles of the old occult societies – something completely new, something born from the spirit – a new occultism about which we have often spoken in our circle.
This can only be done, however, if we turn our view only towards something positive. Therefore the attempt will for once be made to realize something that comes from the super-sensible world: an attempt not to found a community of people, but to endow it.
If it is not successful, it will have failed for a certain amount of time.
Therefore I am announcing to you now that a method of working is endowed of which the individual whom we have called Christian Rosenkreuz, is the originator.
…a part of the endowment, which, if possible, should enter the world; refers to the artistic representation of Rosicrucian occultism.
…this endowment shall be called by the provisional name: “Gesellschaft für theosphische Art und Kunst“.
This art has already begun in many ways by the performances of the Mystery Dramas in Munich and above all the meaningful beginnings of the Temple in Stuttgart; and an additional important advance for the understanding of these things is to be shown by the Johannes building.
A very small circle has been created. It has been created in the sense of our stream for this endowment; thus in a certain sense a beginning has been made, to be detached from me and to have its own substance.
Thus this small circle that has been sanctioned stands before you, which has received its task and thereby the sovereignty and the independence of all spiritual striving, which is an absolute necessity for the future to be introduced to humanity.
Therefore within the endowment I will only serve as interpreter of the basic principles, which as such only exist in the spiritual world – as interpreter of what is to be said about the intentions behind the thing itself.
Therefore a curator will be named for the outer cultivation of the endowment. And with the positions which will be created only duties are associated, no honors, no laurels, so that it is impossible for rivalries or other misunderstandings to occur if it is correctly understood.
At first Miss von Sivers will be recognized by the endowment itself. It will be her task in the immediate future to do what can be done in the sense of the endowment, to gather a corresponding circle of members – not in the usual sense, but rather that they come on their own.
Furthermore within this branch of our endowment a number of associate branches will be created. For each of these associate branches an archdeacon will interpret.
We will have an associate branch for general art; arch-deacon will be Miss von Eckhardstein. Literature will be published: provisional Curator Miss von Sivers. Further architectural subjects: Dr. Felix Peipers; for Music: Mr. Adolf Arenson; for painting: Mr. Hermann Linde.
A certain coordination will take place in a completely different way than is the case with normal organizations. The office of Conservator will be served by Miss Sophie Stinde, in charge of this coordination.
In order for the organization to come into being, a Keeper of the Seal will be necessary: Miss Sprengel, and the Secretary will be Dr Carl Unger.
At first this will be a tiny circle, think of it as nothing more than a seed around which the thing itself will develop.
It will be organized so that by next Three-Kings Day (Epiphany) we will know if it has taken hold.
Thus we have before us that which reveals itself as something which flows from the spiritual world. The membership must be always and exclusively concerned with spiritual interests and the recognition of spiritual interests – with the exclusion of everything personal.
This announcement constitutes a deviation from older occult principles in the fact of this public announcement itself.
It will be in a living stream, a living becoming. Recognition of the spiritual world as the basic reality is none other than the first principle.
All other principles are to be formed as the thing develops. As a tree in the next instant is no longer what it was, but has added something new, so should this be like a living tree. Never should what it is to become be compromised in any way by what it is.
Because through this endowment – this branch for Theosophical Art and Culture, should create a counterweight for what is connected to the Ahrimanic. It may be hoped that an excellent model will be created by the existence of this branch of our endowment.
What figures as art in the movement for spiritual science must flow into our culture from the spiritual world. Spiritual life must be the basis for everything we do.” ~Rudolf Steiner
Now these are notes after the fact:
“When the next Three Kings Day passed and no further movement had been made known, one of the people who had heard his address asked Dr. Steiner when that would happen, he replied: the fact that it didn’t happen could be considered an answer.
The year 1912/1913 was overburdened with the dispute with Annie Besant, her proclamation of the new messiah and her “Star of the East” being active also in Germany.
This followed in 1913 by the founding of the Anthroposophical Society after the expulsion of the German section. Meanwhile work was undertaken in various areas through the nomination of the intimate circle: the Johannesbau-Verein [St. John Building Society]; in the completion of Society’s house in Stuttgart; the so-called “Art-and-People’s-rooms” in Munich and Berlin, one of Miss von Eckardstein‘s initiatives.
The most spiritually outstanding publication was the Calendar of the Soul, a result of Dr Steiner’s cooperation with Miss von Eckardstein; here the wonderfully transparent nuances of speech allow spirit and soul to interact and become one with nature.
Various other things sought a peaceful unfolding in the future. But the World War started.
The most irritating crisis for Dornach was in the summer of 1915. A Dr. Gösch, a typical representative of psychoanalysis, stepped front and center. He convinced himself that the Keeper of the Seal had opened his eyes about promises that Dr. Steiner gave and didn’t comply with. He published this according to psychoanalytical methodology in a brochure: “Anthroposophie und Psychoanalyse”.
The many complaining letters he sent Dr. Steiner revolving around this point gave Dr. Gösch the opportunity for a psychological interpretation in a Freudian sense for the illumination of her case. Gösch had been for a long time himself in Freudian treatment for a nervous disorder, which had deeply infected his person.
The truth is, the Keeper of the Seal failed in the task given her in a most personal sense. In her delusion she felt herself to be the inspiration for the spiritual teaching given to humanity by Dr. Steiner!
And as she also played the role of Theodora in Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas in Munich, she took all this as evidence of a symbolic promise of marriage to Dr. Steiner – which she said was owed her!
Because of this unfortunate megalomania, the possibility of further nominations to the existing circle of eight failed – caused by egoistical conceit on one hand, and the absurdity of false mysticism on the other. The Keeper of the Seal “sprang” the seal in a most unhealthy human sense.
Dr. Steiner expressed himself in the following way about this affair in an address during the so-called crisis in 1915:
“It was announced in autumn that because certain impossible symptoms had become apparent in our Society it was necessary to found a certain smaller society whereby I had attempted to attribute certain titles to a number of associates who have been a long time in the Society in that I required of them that they would act independently in the sense of these titles. I said at that time: If something happens, the members will be informed by Three Kings Day. Nothing was informed and it is therefore obvious that the Society for the Theosophical Way and Art does not exist. The manner in which it was conceived in a certain case made it impossible. It was an attempt.”
The notes continue: “The circle of nominees was shattered; outside the war raged; in Dornach the practical work continued no less intensively despite the external circumstances.
Through what was achieved by hard work it was possible to partly fulfill what Dr. Steiner referred to as the mission of the spiritual movement inaugurated by him: to allow the forgotten spiritual stream around Goethe and Schiller to flow again into culture.
We have lived in the plenitude of his impulses. We were enlivened and carried by his encouraging spiritual force. He was torn from us by death in 1925. He had to pay with death for the immeasurable richness of his gifts which we could not hold.”
And so dear friends as we ponder this 2nd attempt to bring a Rosicrucian endowment to the earth; as we stand in commemoration of the Burning of the 1st Goetheanum; as we move toward the Centennial of the Refounding of the Anthroposophical Society thru Rudolf Steiner, connecting us with the Spiritual Beings behind the Movement, linking us in karma, in the 3rd call from the Spiritual world – Can we re-enliven the impulse of Art & Culture? Will we take up the mantel of Christian Rosenkreutz to fulfill Steiner’s initiative…?
Each of us is called to do what we can, to cultivate & share our gifts freely.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1934 – Death Day of Emil Schlegel – Marie Steiner’s Homeopathic Doctor. He described the effect of the healing effect of the waters of Levico, which Rudolf Steiner then shared in SPIRITUAL SCIENCE AND MEDICINE, GA 312, Lecture XII – There is a Anthroposophical spa there today – Casa Raphael. Here is their report about the Waters of Levico
South of the Dolomites, hidden in the depths of the rock of Mount Fravort, in Trentino, Italy, lies the spring of the arsenic ferouginous thermal water…
The legend of King Fravort.
Once upon a time, there lived a king named Fravort who had 3 sons; Cupro, the oldest, had copper red hair but was jealous of his cousin Auro’s golden curls. The second son, Sidero, was hard like iron, with dark eyes and dark hair, and had an indomitable will. The third, Cobaldo, was born with steel coloured hair and was strongly influenced by the Moon.
The three of them went wandering around the world. Cupro spread fine arts and created shining household utensils, but he was also involved in cheating, disorder and disillusion, driven by envy of his golden cousin Auro. Sidero taught how to build utensils for the house and for the work, but also tools used in killing and war, and became a bearer of doom. Cobaldo revealed to healers useful recipes, but also poisonous mixtures which brought death and sorrow.
Their father, desperate, invoked a divine punishment for the three wicked sons. The three brothers were shut inside a mountain where, after realizing what they had done, started weeping, and those tears brought many benefits to human kind.
The 4th Sunday of Advent – 18 December 2022
at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago, 2 pm – 3:30 pm CST
(after Rev. Jonah Evans talk at the Christian Community)
The Individuality of Conscience and the Goetheanum
with Lucien Dante Lazar
Out of our conscience, we witness the Christ in the other. And through this Seeing, our I is born within us, whose self-conscious interior is the I of God. This is a mystery of John the Baptist.
When Love enters the human heart as an awakening to freedom, the Wisdom of form enters our awareness, and color, that majesty of Light, teaches us about creation. This is a mystery of the painter Raphael.
When the Word approaches us, inspiring us in our language to find the Heavenly Sophia as intellect, we write truth and honor the New Revelation of the Christ and His marriage to Sophia. And out of this marriage, we learn about ourselves. This is a mystery of Novalis.
On this last Sunday of Advent dedicated to the Human Being & the Angels, we will engage in these three Christian gifts through the social encounter, our working with color, and our thinking through language. And we will strive to harmonize these three incarnations of this significant individuality with the birth, death, and resurrection of the Goetheanum.
$10-$50 or pay what you will at the door or online www.rschicago.org/donate(credit card or PayPal)
For more Info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator
Rudolf Steiner Branch 4249 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618 (map)
The ‘Envy of the Gods’ – The ‘Envy of Human Beings’
Presented by Adriana Koulias*
A Winter Solstice offering preparing us for the Centennial commemoration
of the burning of the first Goetheanum.
21 December 2022, at 5 pm PT, 6 pm MT, 7 pm CT, 8 pm ET
Here is a link to the World Clock for your time zone
Online & in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago
Dear Friends – This special presentation is supported by your generous donations. $10-$50 or pay what you will www.rschicago.org/donate (credit card or PayPal)
Please type ‘Adriana’ to designate your payment
For those attending in-person doors open at 5:30 pm for our Potluck meal.
Please bring food & drink to share.
For more Info. contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
You are invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Adriana Koulias
Time: Dec 21, 2022, 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 895 8663 7726
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Work on building the First Goetheanum, which was designed and supervised by Rudolf Steiner, began after the laying of the double dodecahedron foundation stone on the 20th of September 1913. Construction proceeded for a decade under enormous difficulties in the political, economic and cultural realms, brought on by the advent of the First World War. After the war when the building was near completion, the First Goetheanum was destroyed by an arsonist on New Year’s Eve 1922/1923.
This NYE 2022-23 will be the 100th anniversary of this event and the world is again facing many difficulties, political, economic and social. Adriana’s lecture will explore what Rudolf Steiner meant by the ‘Envy of the Gods and the Envy of Human beings’ and how a consciousness of this during the coming 12 Holy Nights can provide the necessary strengthening for the coming twelve months.
During this presentation Adriana will speak about the three gifts given by Rudolf Steiner in 1913: The naming of Anthroposophy, The Fifth Gospel, and The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the First Goetheanum. She will explore with us how we can link our hearts to the old Goetheanum during the coming 12 Holy Nights to prepare ourselves for the coming 12 months in 2023, so we can work towards a Cosmic New Year.
In this way we will celebrate the Jubilee of the Christmas Conference and the resurrection of the living impulse of the First Goetheanum in the most auspicious way.
For Rudolf Steiner tells us: ‘My dear friends, may this link our hearts to the old Goetheanum which we had to consign to the elements. May it link our hearts also to the Spirit, to the Soul of this Goetheanum. With this vow before whatever is best within our being we want to live on not only into the new year. In strength of deed, bearing the spirit, leading the soul we want to live on into the new cosmic year.’ ~Rudolf Steiner, ‘The Envy of the Gods and the Envy of Human Beings.’
Adriana Koulias was born in 1960 in Brazil. Adriana moved to Australia when she was 9 years old where she lives today. She has studied art, operatic singing and nursing. She has been studying Anthroposophy (awareness of our humanity) as given by Rudolf Steiner for 33 years and has since 2002-3 integrated this knowledge into several novels and a number of books, international lectures and articles online and in magazines.