The necessity of meeting – coming together to experience exchange on esoteric themes, to be warmed by artistic activities together, to experience the glittering of the different personalities, to be warmed, impressed and inspired by each other – that need was thoroughly met at the Ascension-meeting at Emerson College 2018.
The Future was the content, Three Doors the means: Education, Social Life and Work.
A wonderful conference, filled with exceptional content, carried by a small group of enthusiasts, and experienced by a rather large group of participants, who – as time went – became more and more enthusiastic towards the contents, the experiences and each other.
Coming from elsewhere, with a very different background, I could sense the great thirst for such coming together; but I could also sense the great capacity that exists in the British sphere, with its extremely long and rich history, a history that seems very much alive in peoples’ consciousness.
We were told that Dornach wishes to have an organisational body in Britain to communicate with. That – as they see it – the British should organise themselves in the way “everybody else” does, in an association for cooperation and mutual support. But it was also made very clear that the British have no wish to do so. And that all this is quite a dilemma, at least for some people.
Personally, I find it very necessary to respect the British in this matter, knowing from experience that the more you push, the more resistance grows against you. The warm and generous support from people who strongly wish to stay detached, but still be a part of it all, speaks for this.
To my mind, history has shown that – time and time again – the British have done things their own way, which over time has shown the rest of us a new way of thinking and doing things. There is of course the Ahrimanic temptation always ready, hidden in our intellect, but that should not be allowed to intimidate us. The alert striving to create togetherness, the wish to do what you do for someone else, and allowing the other to do something for you – giving and receiving – that is the all-important.
Some time ago, I came across a text showing Rudolf Steiner’s answers to a question put to him by Ita Wegmann in 1924, about what would be necessary in the field of therapeutic education in the following century.
His answers were:
First, we must try the following: From mediaeval times on, the Roman Church has worked on creating an image of life after death. We must today – through activity, through practice – against this, put up a consciousness of life before birth.
Secondly, we must try, during this time, to found and build up Communities of Responsibility.
Thirdly, what we do – in order that it may be consistent with the Spirit of our times – must happen widely in the World. Worldwide – is the theme of the century.
He had the 20th century in mind, but I believe his thoughts are no less valid for this century. I therefore very much hope you will continue to create such wonderful, spirit-filled, artistic and social happenings as this was, in a strong striving to take responsibility together for the future of the World, for the future development of Mankind, and for the immediate development of the spiritual science we call Anthroposophy, in order to set up a defence against the dominance of the positivistic and materialistic thinking of Religion on the one hand and Science on the other.
I wish you all the best for this work!