Saturday, February 8, 2014

What is emerging in the Anthroposophical Society - Part 4

- by Dorothy LeBaron

Council members and Class Holders from across Canada gathered for their annual meeting in Thornhill in January. It was a good opportunity for 18 of us to work and do research together.  Council members led a process with three themes:

♦ looking at our current purpose, as written in the Society’s Charter

♦ observing the Society as it is today, and

♦ considering the question:  Does the purpose still reflect the current reality in the Society?

The mood of our research together was lively, warm, and enthusiastic.  Here are some of
the thoughts and imaginations that emerged.

What has changed in our Society since 1953, when it was first incorporated? At that time, the Society was very active with outreach, and this was how people heard about us. Now, there are so many more ways to find the Society through Waldorf schools, bio-dynamic farms, and other activities.  Also, the work of Rudolf Steiner was not as readily available in 1953; now it is widely available in bookstores and through the Internet.  For these and many other reasons, it is clear that our situation – 60+ years later – has changed significantly.

In our conversation, we felt that a gesture of inclusiveness – of working together, needs to become a central theme in our Society activity. Some of the phrases that emerged were:
♦ human encounters are important
♦ active recognition of the other
♦ reaching out, connecting, communicating, touching the other
♦ a path of knowing, freeing the human in the human being
♦ the knowledge of the human being out of Anthroposophy needs to be made available
♦ the Society is a vehicle for the cultivation of Anthroposophy
♦ the Society has a role to carry the school of Spiritual Science
♦ behind the Society lies the purpose of the transformation of human culture and science

Thank-you to the Class Holders and Council members who engaged in this process. The plan now is to engage with members about this question in Vancouver, at the AGM in May. 


Graham Jackson said...

Although the event was nice for us members, I am concerned that anthroposophy is absent in public discussions. On January 10, The Globe and Mail published a long editorial on the declining state of maths education.
It described Andreas Schleicher as "arguably the most influential person in global education policy today". It said he was failing in school at 10 until he was sent to a "private Waldorf academy", where he thrived. He went on to earn top marks on his college entrance exams and study maths and physics.
I wrote them a letter about this, but it was not printed. If there had been many letters, however, it might have been. That is how it works. How many members noticed and responded?...

Graham Jackson

Mark McAlister said...

Thanks for your comment Graham.

I do not agree that anthroposophy is missing in public discussions. It was apparent to me that many people participating in the workshop are in the public "line of fire" every day, and are doing their darndest to represent anthroposophy in a responsible way. Press coverage is only one measure of impact - and perhaps we will gradually earn more attention if we keep working at it.