At this very moment, the Goetheanum is preparing to host a week-long conference with programs in English. The events have already begun, though, on July 29, with the first of Rudolf Steiner’s mystery dramas, of which one will be performed each day over four consecutive days. The plays begin at around 2 pm and last well into the evening. (I assume there must be a break somewhere in the midst.) The conference begins on Monday, August 2 — its title being ‘Entering the 21st Century Spiritually’ — and ends next Saturday, August 7. ‘Anthropo-who?’ is supposedly the program for a ‘humorous evening’ which takes place on Thursday night.

Apart from the usual routine surrounding the rescuing childhood (this time the rescue operation is discussed by a theme group led by Joan Almon, a waldorf education guru), one work-shop group tackles ‘Death as a Spiritual Challenge’. I bet it is. (This group can perhaps be complemented with the one dealing with ‘Beyond Survival Spiritually’?) Another group takes on a lesser challenge than death, namely how to support ‘the Karma of Illness with Anthroposophic Medicine’. Paul MacKay, of the executive council, goes on a hunt for the ‘Universal Human’.  Another executive council member, Virginia Sease, ponders ‘Rudolf Steiner’s Relevance Today: Biographical Highlights of an Initiate’. A professional comedian leads a group called ‘You Are Funnier Than You Look’, which may or may not be true in regard to eurythmists.

The lectures are also impressive. Pediatrician Michaela Glöckler speaks about ‘The Confrontation with Forces of Destruction’ (one wonders where a pediatrician finds these forces) and executive council boss Prokofieff speaks about really important stuff: ‘The Experiences of the Threshold and the Spiritual Tasks of our Time’. The cosmic effects of meditation are dealt with one morning; fortunately the lecture lasts only one hour, as otherwise the potentially dire effects on the cosmos are too difficult to predict. In short:

This International English Conference will address the times in which we live.

(The program should still be available somewhere on the Goetheanum’s website.)


21 thoughts on “anthropo-who?

  1. I believe ‘The Confrontation With the Forces of Destruction’ may be imminent for our little cargo-cult d’epoch ;)

  2. I am surprised that you don’t think the ‘humorous evening’ will not be funny? I imagine tinkling laughter, flowing biodynmaic wine and playing the akashic record backwards. (My record is scratched a bit unfortunately . Darn thing skips too.)

    But for some reason, your post reminded me of when I attended a teachers conference in California. I deliberately wore a hot pink plaid mini skirt and knee-high black boots, tights and black sweater. The thought of walking around in full eurthymy regalia/teacher clothes made me want to consider death as a spiritual challenge.

    I also remember standing in the stadium full of people and watching us do these arm gestures in unison to the piano accompaniment and thinking, “We look like loony bins! If anyone walked into this room right now I wonder what they would think?”

  3. Lani – is playing the Akashic record backwards like the Beatles song -‘I am a Walrus’? which when played backwards reveals that Paul is dead? Didn’t stop him, so it was obviously a useful spiritual challenge.

    Does the Akashic Record played backwards say: ‘this stuff is all highly unlikely… Steiner is a walrus…’ ? If you can get a copy we could have a go & see.

  4. that last video is thanks to MCRmauricio who has his own page of backwards songs/esoteric texts on YouTube.

  5. I want to go to the Goetheanum with the both of you, drink biodynamic wine and listen to the akashic records played backwards! Besides, the Goetheanum architecture provides the perfect environment for an event of such potential for surrealistic experiences. Actually, attempting to read a bit in the Mystery dramas yesterday, they struck me as potentially comical too.

  6. I insist on Lani dressing appropriately for the occasion. I myself have based my garb on Salvador Dali’s famous painting: ‘Wednesday afternoon at the Goetheanum’, with dogs.

  7. I’ll wear a hat decorated with biodynamic flowers. And then, late at night, I’ll accidentally trip on the sheets that cover and protect the Representative of Man and we’ll be standing face to face with Ahriman. Remember not to scream though; don’t want to have the anthroposophic doctors come and give injections of homeopathic tranquilizer. Better have another drink and say a toast to the forces of destruction. I bet there’s an anthroposophically designed fridge full of biodynamic cheeses somewhere behind the statue.

  8. The more I read in this blog the less I understand.
    Why do you write about Anthroposophy although you don’t like it?
    You describe in detail this conference,
    would you ever visit it?

    Excuse my questions;
    maybe my English is not good enough to understand what is your request or idea.

  9. Well, that’s a question I have got several times before, and it always takes me by surprise, because in some ways it doesn’t make sense to me.

    First, of course I like it! I may not agree with it, but that’s another story, isn’t it? I definitely like it though. Not agreeing, not thinking Steiner was correct and a true clairvoyant, not believing waldorf education is good — but none of this means I don’t like it as an interest kind of thing.

    Second, I read about things that fascinate me even though I don’t like them. I don’t exactly like murderers, to choose an obvious example, but I find them totally worthwhile reading about. So, even if I didn’t like anthroposophy, I could still find it worthwhile; I see no contradiction there. (Note:. I’m not comparing anthroposophists to murderers, I simply wanted to illustrate the point!)

    Thirdly, and perhaps superflous given what I’ve written already, there’s one thing that is worth mentioning: children who grow up in the mess that is applied anthroposophy don’t really have a choice of not being there if they ‘don’t like it’. Maybe if I had been given a choice to ‘not like it’ and been allowed to leave when I was three… but life isn’t like that. Sometimes we’re handed things we don’t like, and we have to deal with these things. If something has influenced your life in that way, you don’t have the opportunity to say ‘well, I didn’t like it, so I erase it from my memory, from my experiences, from my life’.

    And, well, no I wouldn’t visit the conference — I’m not big on conferences, or listening to lectures and stuff, I have to admit.

  10. yes – it’s like that with the complexities of humanity & satire – you have to have a sense of humour to understand the world or it must seem gradually more & more obtuse, and since we only have one life that sense of humour, of the absurd is absolutely essential. And for much of the same reason that pentecost keeps reading, zooey reflects. It’s simple really.

  11. “I bet there’s an anthroposophically designed fridge full of biodynamic cheeses”

    I just got the funniest image of this anthroposophical refrigerator with its rounded corners.

  12. Too funny. I was picturing something a little smaller and squatter, though – more … gnomish. Less useful … There is always a goal in anthroposophy to make women work harder at mindless tasks; practical equipment or anything that makes housekeeping and domestic tasks easier is not valued. Large refrigerators keeping a larger quantity of food fresh longer are probably ahrimanic.

  13. But that all changes between incarnations. And when the body is female the spirit is male; and vice versa. That’s how it’s supposed to work. A very clever system.

    I remember vacuum cleaners were frowned upon, but I’ve also been made aware that some modern anthroposophists use them ;-)

  14. @Zooey:
    “And when the body is female the spirit is male; and vice versa. ”

    Now I got explanation to some some of the things I observed while a part of a waldorf school for a while

  15. There’s that difference between an explanation and an excuse. I’m not saying it works as an explanation — partly perhaps, but absolutely not fully — but as an excuse it does not.

    In general, though, karma is a big thing — a thing of importance within anthroposophy — and important to know about. Also, I think it tends to cause… problems.

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