an epic train ride

Next year, as the celebration of Steiner’s 150th birthday takes place, there are arrangements for a ‘Rudolf Steiner Celebration Train’ — taking the travellers on a five-day journey to all the important places in Steiner’s life. On a ‘physical train’, as they point out — as opposed to? a supersensible train? (Imagine riding a non-physical train together with gnomes, fairies and archangels! Now that would be something memorable…) Anyway, it appears it’s not a night train, thus passengers taking the journey won’t sleep on the train — at least not while it’s moving. This is probably wise from an anthroposophical viewpoint (and it’s perhaps nicer and more comfortable to stay in hotels as well):

‘If we want to understand what these indications actually mean we must recall to memory a spiritual scientific truth which you no doubt know, namely, that whilst we are asleep our ego and astral body are outside our physical and etheric body. In fact, because of certain limitations which cosmic laws impose on us in the natural order of things, our ego and astral body are very close to our physical body and etheric body in a case like this, so that if we are asleep on a train journey our ego and astral body are right inside all the rattling, rumbling and braking going on in the wheels and the engine of the train. [. . .] We are inside everything going on around us. We are inside these not exactly musical experiences in our surroundings, and you need only have taken the very first steps in initiation to notice on waking up that when the ego returns with the astral body into the physical body and etheric body they bring with them what they experienced while they were being squeezed through the machinery, for they really were inside the moving machinery right up to the moment of waking.’ [Said Steiner.]

On Steiner’s birthday, February 25th, the train arrives in the afternoon in the village of the guru’s birth, Kraljevec, and the train passengers stay in the village, until the next morning. Steiner was born on the 25th, had quite a dramatic start in life (it was unclear if he would survive), and was baptized on the 27th. The latter date has sometimes been designated as his birthday. (Though apparently not by the organizers of this train trip.) The Steiner family didn’t stay in Kraljevec long though; Steiner’s father worked for the railroad — quite fortunate if you’re arranging a celebratory train ride like this one — and was relocated several times during his childhood.

Apparently, railroad cars with a link to anthroposophy will be provided by the train company. File under things you (probably) didn’t know before (and there’s even a connection here to Järna):

‘The InterRegio was introduced gradually from 1988, and eventually it operated on 24 lines in two- hour intervals, with its 440 trains servicing a network of about 11,000 km every day. The design of this train was undertaken first by Karl Dieter Bodack and completed by the BPR office in Stuttgart (Jens Peters) working with the colour designer Fritz Fuchs from Jarna, Sweden. It is informed by the social impulse of Rudolf Steiner, and the project management of the DB and the development work and construction by the PFA were carried out accordingly. The drafts were based on the artistic and architectural impulse of Rudolf Steiner, demonstrating an organic design in the colours and forms of all the spaces.’



15 thoughts on “an epic train ride

  1. Oh. Thanks, Tom. They’ve changed the ‘insert link’-thingy on wordpress.

    Also, walking mr Dog a moment ago, I had this splendid idea! Thetis!! What about the ethereal kiosk arranging an ethereal celebration train ride… it would be a blast! Champagne! Dogs! (Bless the first canineosophist, Pschulek.) Rudi would be thrilled, I’m sure. We’ll get drunk on champagne (and cognac, I read he likes cognac), talk about the higher worlds and laugh at the anthroposophists on their ‘physical train’ — we’d laugh at how utterly stuck they are in the material. And pity them. Ah!

  2. Ah, an ethereal carriage! The Orient Express of impossible journeys! I’m in, only you & I, zooey, have to go shopping for the right outfits. Once again I must consult my friend, Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian Detective. He is very good on hats.


  3. Mr Dog announces he’ll be wearing fur, an appropriate garment in all kinds of circumstances. And perhaps a bow on his head. Though he’ll need to consult his cosmic guides about bow colours.

    These things are so simple for dogs. It will be more difficult for us, Thetis. All I can say is that traditional eurythmy robes will be prohibited. They lack style. Unfortunately Rudi didn’t realize this until after he went over the threshold to the other realm in 1925, and now the anthroposophists won’t listen to him speaking from over there. They cannot distinguish the voice of a gnome from that of a guru, when it comes down to it.

  4. Or should we leave Rudi in the kiosk? No, we cannot do that. We must bring him. And Saul. The archangel Michael is such a bore; I suggest we avoid announcing this trip to him. He can read about it afterwards, in the akashic chronicle.

  5. It’ll be a blast. And no, we can’t take Michaaa-el. He’s sanctimonious. And he also has a problem with astral body odour.

  6. Sanctimonious, yes, that’s the word. Some elementals call him Sanctimonious Michaaa-el behind his back. They say it’s his real title. I’m inclined to believe them. Possibly it’s the sanctimoniousness that stinks. The astral expression of it can somtimes be unbearable.

  7. I’m thinking something like this or this could fit, although I don’t know which one is the most etheral, (By the way, shouldn’t plastic be a more spiritual form of matter since it transcends the natural?)

    Also, I’m wondering about the canineosophical implications of this picture. I feel it says something important about the relation between humans and dogs, but I can’t figure out what that would be.

  8. Those trains are very appropriate! Although mr D would prefer one more like a terrier.

    The problem with plastic is that you can’t chew it. Overall, natural materials are the best for chewing purposes, and chewing quality is a primary measure of spirituality level in canineosophy. Steiner may have been onto something there. It may be that he got some indications from the dog Pschulek.

    Steiner said their was a connection between poop and brains. I believe we must work from the assumption there is such a connection. Again, he may have been onto something. He knew a dog who taught him things.

  9. > Steiner said their was a connection between poop and brains.

    Is that why dogs sniff each others behind?

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