- by Jean-Sébastien Catalan
Beginning in January 2014, anthroposophists in the Ukraine have held a number of meetings aiming to promote a better understanding for the unrest in their country and in the hope of providing a healing counterbalance. At their last meeting (May 3rd to 5th) in Kiew, a broadly-based initiative was set in motion, with an appeal to anthroposophists from all over the world to join in the spirit of brotherhood. I was able to take part in these working sessions, and would like to give a brief progress report.
In mid-January various meetings took place in Kiew and Odessa, devoted mainly to averting the growing threat of a split in the anthroposophical community – a threat arising from conflicting views about the social and political situation in the country. As a first expedient, it was decided to hold a series of weekly conversations between representatives of opposing views, bearing in mind the words spoken by Rudolf Steiner on 11th February 1919 (“A Path to Christ through Thinking”, GA 193): “... and thus He (Christ) speaks today: Whatever the least of your bothers thinks, you should regard in this light: that I think in him, and that I feel in you, as you weigh up his thoughts against your own, when you develop social interest in what is living in the other soul.” These conversations are currently being held in various cities. In April (during Easter) intensive work was carried out with friends in Odessa, Kiew, Donezk, Dnjepropetrowsk and Vinnitsa (Western Ukraine) on the themes: “The Will to Build Communities” and “Spotlight on the Ukraine – What needs to Happen?”. The work was difficult and ended without any apparent results; only afterwards did some of its fruits come to light – in the formation of further working groups and through remarks made later by various participants. Therefore we were able to meet again two weeks later – this time only in Kiew, although some friends from Odessa were also present. Our aim to start a broadly-based initiative met with success.
This initiative is based on trust in the effective working of the spirit and strives to develop its impulses on the foundation of the anthroposophical community. It aims to offer resistance, and so help to avert further chaos and to transform the present ills to good.
How can the collaborative work of this international spiritual community take shape?
Every endeavour in connexion with this spiritual community and its goals can be effective and helpful, and each individual has free scope to develop her or his initiatives. In seeking for the most effective means of resistance, the following proposal was put forward in Kiew:
The members of this “World Branch” work together in communities on a text by Rudolf Steiner. Initially (until 21st June, 2014): “Community above us, Christ in us!” (Lecture given in Düsseldorf on 15th June, 1915). The Initiative-Community in Kiew will propose a further text at a later point in time.
At the beginning of each working session, the verse dedicated to the Folk-Spirit can be spoken:
You, the Spirit of my space on earth,
Reveal the Light of your Age
To the soul imbued with Christ,
That striving it can find you
In the chorus of the Spheres of Peace,
You, resounding with the praise and power
Of the human spirit, devoted to Christ.
The members of this International Community of Resistance (whether as individuals, groups or branches) can register with the co-ordinators and, if they so wish, enter their mail addresses to exchange ideas. The list of participants will be kept up to date, and can be obtained via the following addresses:
Further Information and Co-ordination:
Ukrainian: Kiew: firstname.lastname@example.org
French, Spanish, Catalonian, English, German: Jean-Sébastien Catalan, Ulm, email@example.com
Please take note of the following event: Whitsun Conference in Ulm from 6th to 9th June, 2014. “The Shared and Individual Tasks of the German and Russian Nations after their Tragic Destinies in the 20th Century. The Unrest in the Ukraine and the Development of Europe.” (Bilingual: German – Russian).
MI KA EL – Association for the Furtherance of Anthroposophy (registered association), www.bundulm.eu
For the Resistance Initiative in the Ukraine,
Jean-Sébastien Catalan – Ulm, Thursday 8th May, 2014