From September 19th to 21st, 2008, thirty North Americans gathered with Yeshayahu at a retreat centre on Lake Ontario in Canada. This was YBA’s third annual conference in Canada and the first formal engagement of his Elementary School for Spiritual Science in Canada.
In September 2006, when YBA spoke to us of the spiritual course of the twentieth century and the intentions of Michael for the twenty-first century, we could feel how the spiritual world drew close to participate in our active listening. Such stirring and powerful words! How soulfully we absorbed the ripened gift, the mature flower of his spiritual research which this year reached a culmination of sorts. And from a certain perspective this weekend saw also the end of a certain phase of his work with us.
We could perceive the difference already the following year, in September 2007. He spoke once more with the authority of direct spiritual experience, but his emphasis had changed. What YBA depicted of twentieth century progress in the spiritualization of thinking - through in particular the French post-modernists - served primarily to frame for us the nature of the group work we would do together in digestive reading. The seeds of last year were falling windswept to the earth, with no certainty they would reach fertile soil.
In this, the third year of our collaborative evolutionary rhythm, YBA withdrew further as a lecturer and embraced more the role of a guide. We broke into five groups of six people. Each person in each group formulated a question out of her reading of the Second Appendix to the 1918 Edition to the Philosophy of Freedom. Then each group worked to find answers to each question out of the preface. YBA’s profound communications on the preface Saturday afternoon seemed more like an ideal, archetypal representation of each group’s experience, more like a spiritual embrace of the living being of the book than a lecture.
Some of the group work was emotionally intense, even painful at times. In 2006, you could say that our doubles were set aside, displaced by our higher selves in the cadence of our listening. Not so this year. This year our doubles were invited in to help with the work! Without them, how could we have achieved some of the inversions and conversions which took place? By the time of our plenum Sunday morning, people had exchanged questions: a question asked by one participant had become of significant import to another participant. Other people found in the soul movement of the group process signposts to unresolved life challenges. One group set aside YBA’s instructions for a time and discovered reflections of the thought current of the text in their own transformative life experiences. In YBA’s good-natured raillery at their “rule-breaking” he revealed a hint that this group had begun to uncover the imaginative magical thrust of the exercise.
With YBA’s encouragement, the only task remaining for the present is to resist the temptation to form intellectual conclusions on the nature of our work together. Let us simply enjoy our recognition that last year’s wind delivered seeds to fertile soil, trusting that next year’s seedling will emerge from the long winter of our separation with powerful life energies for the future.
Over the past three years, we have publicized our conferences with Yeshayahu in advance in the Bulletin and have in addition sent invitations to all Society members in Ontario and Quebec. We intend to continue meeting with Yeshayahu once a year into the future. However, the nature of our work has evolved and going forward we will not be publicizing, sending out flyers etc. with a view to maximizing attendance. Rather, we will seek to deepen the quality of our work together.
At the same time, newcomers are most warmly welcomed to participate in our conference planned for October 2009! If you feel a connection with Yeshayahu’s published material or with the journey briefly described above, please speak to someone you know who has attended the recent 2008 conference to solicit a personal invitation which will surely be forthcoming. That person will then be responsible in his or her own individual manner for familiarizing you with the character of our work. If you don’t know anyone who attended, please call Magi Nadelle at 613-832-1822 or email Magi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past participants who were unable to come in September 2008 are of course warmly encouraged to come again as well.