- by Heidrun Vukovich
About 200 people, including a handful of Canadians from Quebec and Ontario, came together in the auditorium of a public high school in Great Barrington. This was a purely functional, large hall - a kind of soulless, empty space. Peter Selg modestly requested us to work together and transform it by our own thoughts and feelings – to create a mood that would be receptive for esoteric content.
Gene Gollogly of SteinerBooks introduced Peter - an astonishingly prolific writer. Yes, he writes a lot at night, fulfillng a self-chosen task to serve the Being of Anthroposophy.
Dr. Selg opened the Friday night lecture by describing his research at the Ita Wegman Institute in Arlesheim. He mentioned that research must bring about results, or else we work for our enemies. It was clear that he writes from a heightened sense of responsibility for Anthroposophy. By publishing well-researched material on what he called “the themes”, he hopes to protect the esoteric wisdom from the attacks, the ill-meaning intentions and lies, of a wave of horrifically falsified interpretations of the work and persons of Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman.
Throughout the lengthy presentations, he spoke freely and spontaneously, out of a deep and intimate - also often very personal - understanding. His extensive research into the above-mentioned themes affected the mood of his presentation. It could almost be called a conversation with a particular subject matter, a conversation imbued with a living reverence for the human beings he spoke of. Some of us experienced in the unfolding of these “conversations” a growing earnestness, but also a deep joy, possibly also shared by the invisible participants, somewhat in proximity.
This was the mood that grew and spread throughout the whole conference, a devoted engagement with the themes. So much so that it fired the will - not just admiration for the speaker - and it sparked fire for the core, for the Heart of Anthroposophy, in ones’ own heart.
Here are a few treasures gathered about each theme:
The Suffering of Christian Rosenkreuz
- Our relationship to truth comes out of an inner struggle; it is not something served on a platter as something new. Christian Rosenkreuz will continue to suffer until more of us bring ourselves to this threshold experience. If we continue to sleep, nothing can happen.
- Christian Rosenkreuz is the servant of Christ; he stood at the cross to help us understand the Christ Event.
- Some individualities prepare the future 1000 years ahead, while most of us prepare for the next two to three years.
- Rudolf Steiner had a living, actual relationship with Christian Rosenkreuz who was the inspiration behind How To Know Higher Worlds, The Education of the Child, and the first three parts of the Foundation Stone Meditation. (The fourth part is inspired by The Master Jesus.)
- The Rosicrucian impulse to bring east and west together was not received by the Theosophical Society. The Soul Calendar soon followed - a chance to connect heaven and earth, a path to the appearance of Christ in the etheric. This esoteric text was given to the most public people - to soldiers on the front.
- In Brueggen, Belgium, Peter visited a hospital, run by the St. John’s (Rosicrucian) Brotherhood. It was and still is devoted to the therapeutic stream of healing, of outstreaming healing labor for the community. It houses a painting with the two John children, the Baptist and the Evangelist, and Mary and the child.
Centre and Periphery: Research and Action
- Research is at the centre of the School of Spiritual Science. This is a place for transformation, for learning to cognize in the spiritual world, for learning initiation. We are working with a science of incarnation, not only a cosmology.
- The sections need the periphery - a receptive, awake community. It is selfless work for all. The culture of selflessness can be seen, for example, in the transformational work of Marie Steiner. The healing influence of section work can be seen in all sectors of public life today.
- The Anthroposophical Society has an objective task in the world, and we must work hard to understand it. If we view anthroposophy as simply an addition to science, as a source of “answers” to interesting questions, or as means of personal enrichment, we are missing the point.
- Be prepared to commit yourself against outer resistance, to study Anthroposophy correctly, and project an anthroposophical image.
- In the encounter with anthroposophy in the depths of our soul - even without conversation, in a lecture, in a lesson - Christ is there. Rudolf Steiner is awaiting us; if we forget the goal, those in the spiritual world cannot help us.
Ita Wegman: A Leading Co-worker
- Her practical approach to life and her strong, directed will were already visible in her childhood, when she took the reins from the driver of the horse carriage because he was just too slow for her liking. Later, she always asked: What does Anthroposophy need from me? How do I stand before Rudolf Steiner? How do I best serve the intention of Rudolf Steiner? Not to make great things, but to make a start.
- She had to be alone in the hospital as an anthroposophical doctor; she alone went to stand with Rudolf Steiner at the burning fire, which was a brilliant attack of the counterforces to destroy him. Ita Wegman’s and Rudolf Steiner’s lives were directed to join and work together for a short time. Rudolf Steiner was not a ‘normal’ person; he was an initiate. She was a healer; she was not clever, but she was wise. She could transform forces into healing properties. She was deeply interested in people, a shining sun in her little hospital community.
The conference ended in the Great Barrington Waldorf school, with the 16th class lesson in German, read by Peter Selg , and continued with a free rendering of the same lesson in English. A short open forum with questions and answers concluded the weekend.