From Encounter to Close Connection
What do people with disabilities contribute to the rediscovery of the spirit in the human being and in the world?
Indications about biographical work, examples from daily practice, discussions and exercise sequences. Group-leaders; Brigitta Fankhauser and Domenig Christian Gaegauf
Freely given talks
Domenig Christian Gaegauf
Developing one’s self together
This summer five of us, all using facilitated communication (fc) for speaking with each other, spent a holiday week writing together with our facilitator Susanne. After this week we spoke in my family about Susanne’s great support. She has an incredible presence for us who write and is completely authentic. I would just like to cheer when I see the difference between her and other support workers. It is precisely this difference, namely being really present for the other, that matters most. It frequently happens that something is simply said in an insecure way or is demanded from us out of the blue. In contrast to this, Susanne with her inner presence of mind gives us some of her ego-filled impulses, which are carried by a certainty and clarity and are even filled with love when they might sometimes sound strict.
We have already reached the core of the theme. It is all about the development of our ego-forces. By this I mean all of us and not only we who are living with limitations. Nowadays human beings often have to cope with so many impressions and are therefore so much diverted from themselves by all the demands that are being put to them- feeling like a hamster in a wheel- that they are no longer aware of their own personality. They act and talk and laugh and cry and their self is as if outside them.
For us who suffer from a weak ‘ego’, i.e. who have a self that sometimes is not completely incarnated, this is very hard to bear. We who have limitations look for a strong hold in the ego of our fellow human being and are totally unable to control ourselves in the company of weak support workers. I, for instance, will then have a sensation that the ground gives way under my feet and I feel like a flowing creature in Nirwana. This will give me a feeling of anxiety and a longing to hold on to something and be given form. This is only possible if I impose severe compulsions on myself, which are for me like a replacement for the lack of being held by the support worker. These compulsions are dreadful and will really only stimulate the next stage of need and make us
completely unfree and even less supported. They can become so devilishly strong over time that we are hardly able to stop them of our own accord any longer. Only the clear dismissal of such compulsions from outside can help us in such a case. Then the support workers must come and get us ‘back’ in order to again activate our weakened ego-forces, in as far as this is at all still possible. To do so it is especially important that the support workers put their own ego at our disposal, so we can feel supported again.
The ‘self’, the individual, is the theme of our present stage in human development. I can see here an important task which is created by the fact that we are the way we are. We who have limitations have here a clear mandate to challenge you to strengthen and develop yourselves. The only way to progress is if we, who have limitations, connect with you. Together we can support ourselves in our ego- development. I can see great challenges coming towards us on the earth and only complete human beings with strong ego-forces will be able to help the earth develop further.
It is always a question of the development of consciousness which is strongly dependent on the presence of the self in human beings. There is no consciousness without the self. Only a good ‘ego’-development can give us our consciousness.
I just said that we are somewhat weakened in the incarnation of our self. This does, however, not mean that we are not fully human. Our ego has partly remained behind in heaven. This helps us to still have some glimpses of the heavenly spheres. Because of this we are here often a bit dim in recognizing your way of thinking, yet on the other hand we receive much light from the spiritual spheres and can see the wider connections. You are often not at all able to see these and from our perspective you can be quite dim in these matters. I think the essential thing is the substance of love, which can only be created by conscious thinking, feeling and will. It is important to work on filling a room with self-created substance of love in which everyone feels included and can develop at their own pace and in the greatest freedom. This space has been created for us by Christ and we are being lifted up within it. But it is only if through the forces of our heart we take hold of and create Him anew that a substance can come about which can connect us as human beings in a new way.
Self-Cognition and the Development of the Will
I am happy that I am allowed to begin this presentation of my thoughts with Rudolf Steiner’s Soul Calendar verse of September 15th -21s t .
Unceasingly itself creating Soul life becomes aware of self; The cosmic spirit, striving on, Renews itself by self-cognition, And from the darkness of the soul Creates the fruit of self-engendered will. (tr. Hans Pusch)
It is almost as if this particular verse was written specially for my present stage of development. These words have so enriched me that I could shout for joy inwardly. I experience especially this
verse as my path out of eternal shimmering darkness of soul into a life of will to be taken up consciously. In our time many people have to take this path which is full of suffering and difficult.
In my life so far I have gone through all stages of confusion and lack of clarity. Due to my clairvoyance and my ability to look into past incarnations it was extremely hard for me to settle anywhere. I had no boundaries. I was not able to fit into any fixed structures that could have given me something to hold on to. I was like a flowing being on all levels of existence. I could see the spiritual worlds and at the same time would experience the demands from the physical world. I saw people’s feelings in their faces and heard the contents of their words which did not fit together. I saw how people discussed me and I was not consulted about it. I was seen in a different way from how I experienced myself. I had thousands of ideas about my existence and no one would speak with me about life and the spiritual world. Out of necessity I had developed strategies for myself that always blamed somebody or me for my existence full of suffering. These strategies would result in a false form of programming which left me utterly chaotic and in total denial. By addressing all these areas as well as my feelings and thoughts about them I have been able to continually bring more light into the darkness. This has been my work ever since I returned home, so for the past four years now, and I can tell you the only way to learn a new attitude is by bringing consciousness into this chaos. I am grateful that already having read anthroposophical books in my parents’ place and in the group at Sonnenhof in Arlesheim I had, already in my childhood and youth, become quite familiar with the spiritual worlds. Unfortunately I never learnt how to separate these levels of existence. It was only through a shocking experience that I was shown that there can be various levels of perception.
I beg you from the depths of my heart, please, speak with the people you support about the spiritual worlds. Tell them that there can be different ways of seeing which have nothing to do with the world of the senses. It is very urgently needed that anyone who has challenging behaviour can have such conversations with you. And speak with them even if they are not able to speak. Tell it to them or read written materials about these things to them. It would be best if to use books by Rudolf Steiner himself. As soon as you are of the opinion that such difficult clients would not understand these things you will have already lost them. Then you have not understood that we are spiritually intact and that only the outside looks different. I am completely convinced that you will then inflict even more problems on these people in need of help by your mistaken assumptions and thoughts which have a very hurtful effect.
This is why I am telling you that through this verse by Rudolf Steiner all the darkness of soul in which we are often simply left on our own and plod along like sleeping beings can be lit up through light-filled knowledge. Only then can the will finally be liberated and unblocked and begin to take hold within us.
A review over my life
Now I finally have an insight into the essence of my biography. I have always felt like an autumn leaf in the wind, not noticed by anyone. I saw myself through the glasses of a suffering human being and remained in the position of an observer. But thoughts would continuously be turning around in my head making my existence into hell. I was always looking for a culprit either in myself or outside myself in others. I would then create horror images showing myself as a bad person in a past incarnation. In this way I made myself into the instigator and culprit for all my suffering in this life.
With the thoughts constantly turning around in my head I imposed compulsions on myself and programmed myself in such a way that I was never allowed to do anything for others any more. In this way I wanted to bring some peace and security into my inner chaos. Yet by doing this I created my very own dungeon and shut myself up in it. There was never any inner peace and with these self-made survival strategies I cut myself off from life.
A short while ago I had an experience that changed everything so completely that I am still unable to grasp it. A human angel asked me the right question which steered my destiny in a new direction. This question was put to me out of a strong heart and good presence. Spiritual beings were then able to enter in a helpful way and I was given salvation. Follow the path of your heart and in deep connectedness you will then be able to free human beings in need from their suffering.
The dragon of the organisation and responsibility for the earth
I would like to start with Rudolf Steiner’s Soul Calendar verse 25 of September 22 -29:
I can belong now to myself And shining spread my inner light Into the dark of space and time. Toward sleep is urging all creation, But inmost soul must stay awake And carry wakefully sun's glowing Into the winter's icy flowing.
I can always see the kind of monsters that pounce upon our institutions. At the moment I have an image of a hungry dragon that always needs to feed on our lack of courage, our doubt, our fears and the ensuing addiction to control. How ingeniously effective would be the transformation of such negative feelings into an attitude of reliability and joy of living. The people who support us would then be able to receive help from heavenly beings. Only when the support workers turn on their inner light and manage ever better to bring in their own input, they will suddenly experience that help and strength is given to them. This is not something I am just making up. No, help from above through spiritual beings is really there. They experience Christ in people who are inwardly engaged and they can thus finally connect with people who are inwardly radiating and can give them the right impulses. I can see ever more clearly how our earth is thirsty for such impulses from above and how on the other hand ever more of such dragon creatures are being created. It is up to us to change the world and to begin to live with Michaelic strength and full consciousness.
It is often a question of laziness of the heart that we do not wake up deep within ourselves to full consciousness of the actual task for which we are here. I have always seen in myself how easy it is to withdraw into the heavenly spheres and how restricting it feels if there is no help on the earth. Do not let us, who have not really incarnated fully, go too far away and do give us a feeling for our task here below. We are just as much needed as you are and if you help us to stay here you can be assured of heavenly support. Our spiritual companions only begin to see Christ as soon as we,
together with you, manage to build up a close connection to the earth. Then there will be beings who make sure that you and we receive the right kind of help.
We should never give up or in any way lose patience or energy, but continue on our path. When the right time has come we will find, yes, we will find, what has been predestined for us. Because for every human being certain outlines of the whole of life have been pre-drawn, in spite of, yes, maybe even because of, all the freedom. Every human being has been called to their life’s task and will complete it if he has good will. (Rudolf Steiner, 1922)