Friday, December 4, 2009

"Crisis of Money" Conference

"Crisis of Money" Conference at the Christian Community, Nov 13-16

- by Douglas Wylie

Daniel Hafner warmly welcomed John Alexandra and mentioned that Rudolf Steiner had indicated to the Christian Community priests that it was part of their task to bring the Three-folding social concepts into the world. The conference consisted of warm hearted lectures, thoughtful discussions and lively movements. Jonathan Snow provided us all with Eurthmy exercises which were simple enough but challenging in way of coordinating – both individually and together as a community. I had the pleasure of presenting Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on World Economy give to Economic University students in 1922.

John opened each lecture with a quote from Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural speech which brought to our awareness the karma working behind the social organism exemplified when one considers the gross injustices of war. Over the course of John’s very broad, nicely paced and stimulating lectures, he talked of the war time and parallels when Rudolf Steiner developed three-folding social concepts. The picture John brought compared the social organism of Culture, Politics (Rights) and Economy with the soul make up of the human being of Thinking (Head), Feeling (Lungs/Heart); and Willing (Metabolic). In one of the discussions he facilitated he brought to light that the correspondence between the Social organism and our Human organism is not so readily apparent.

John used the analogy of a “scrim” that is used in theatre, which both “hides and reveals” to illustrate how the countenance of the social organism does not show what is working behind it and he challenged us to become conscious of this behind-the-scenes Spirit. He also used the analogy of a seed, with huge inherent, yet unseen creative potential, growing to a finished “knowing”. This knowing is an”un-creating” because when something is known it is finished and the creative element ends just as the blossom is the end of the plant growth. Rudolf Steiner’s 3-folding ideas have this quality.

On Saturday John focused on Capital and money. He brought to focus the difference between industrial research, being relatively short lived compared to fundamental research, such as the development of Calculus that still produces today, for example. Both types of research arise from a sequence of events whereby no one individual can claim absolute ownership. As such the “free” capital produced ought to be seen and used towards culture, where it arose originally. It is especially important to direct such Capital towards early education to develop socially and culturally adept adults. Of course this is only a glimpse of the offering John presented.

I took the opportunity to talk on the World Economy lectures as a way to deepening my own understanding of Steiner’s work in this regard. I was pleased to hear that what I presented about the current economy with all its false concepts, and the exercise of putting Steiner’s diagram 5 into bodily movement, was well received. A very lively discussion and wonderful questions followed.

Furthering our understanding on Sunday morning, John brought a religious flavour as he talked wonderfully about money with references to Christ’s deeds and the Holy week. He introduced this by indicating the one can see the creative spirit working behind the storyies in the bible. The story becomes the “scrim” as mentioned above.

This event, which drew more than 65 participants was a great success and I took personal satisfaction in the fact that, as a new Council member for Anthroposophical Society in Canada, I was able to offer something of a long standing interest, practice and study to the community. The 3-fold social concepts that Rudolf Steiner brought towards a new consciousness tends towards the goals of the Anthroposophical Society of creating a caring of the soul that is not so prevalent in our current social world social. Thanks to John, Daniel and Ute Konig and the many others, especially Melanie Nason, as event coordinator, for bringing such a wonderful important experience to our community.

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