Thursday, August 29, 2013

I on the Threshold: Beware! Naming a conference theme! It will manifest!

- by Regine Kurek and Dorothy LeBaron

Worldwide Biography Conference - 2013

This bi-annual conference took place at Emerson College in England, from June 25 to June 30, 2013. It was the third, and for now the last time for the event to take place at this location. In order to support a transition time at Emerson, the conference-carrying group decided to commit to this beautiful location for three conferences… Before that it was in Holland, Germany, Switzerland and England.

As people arrived gradually and assembled for a three o’clock opening of the conference, a mood of expectancy and excitement grew and filled the campus and Ruskin Hall to its old glory.

Approximately one hundred and twenty biography counselors and workers gathered from eighteen different countries to exchange and deepen their understanding and respect for this emerging professional field of work that has in recent years found its home in the General Section of the School for Spiritual Science.

Our theme this year was the Foundation Stone Meditation (FSM) and its central relevance to our work. During the three and a half days of the main conference, we broke into smaller groups and found different ways towards new meaning in our relationship to this central meditation. For biographers, what stands out is:
♦  the three fold call to the human soul,
♦  the three twenty-one year cycles of developing body-soul-spirit, and
♦  the fourth part with its awakening to the WE, to our humanity.

Biography work, while deeply personal, is also highly universal, and the respect for our human becoming always rests on continuous self-knowledge.

In one way, the FSM could be called The Human Biography.

In two very deep and far-reaching lectures, Michaela Gloeckler gave us grounding, direction, and aims to work toward as professionals. She began her first talk with the words ‘I love biography’ and inspired our understanding of a day- and night-biography.  Our experiences while asleep (e.g.our work with the third hierarchy and the development of the social will during a journey through the planetary spheres), and our experiences during the intervals between earth-lives - these are all reflections of our biography journey on earth.. A huge amount of waking up from our side is required.  We seem to be just at the beginning of our human becoming, and we are all humbled by the tasks awaiting.

Incredible gifts arose from all the different presentations, meetings, short seminars, master classes and individual encounters during meals and coffee breaks that increasingly built towards our social Saturday evening, when we were led in Brazilian and other dances together. What warmth!

Our theme of the threshold manifested also in challenging ways. The opening ceremony had been planned as a contemplative conversation with the text of the Foundation Stone Meditation. About 15 people engaged in this conversation, backs to the participants, in Ruskin Hall. The rest of the one hundred participants were asked to engage by listening, and thinking the thoughts the small group brought. Very quickly the event was perceived as distant and cut off from the participants in the hall. People started to walk out. A couple of people stood up and spoke for the audience and eventually the realization came that people were leaving, and what had been planned was not working. A threshold opened in front of us, painful and liberating at the same time, awakening for all present.

Also, the key-note speaker had to cancel because of illness and in the last minute one courageous colleague took up the theme of the Wound in all of our lives, in fact, in our human condition. Biography work as an aid to our woundedness was addressed. This again, led to a passionate discussion. Some people could ‘barely stand’ the heaviness and mood in the room, while others suggested the wound is our gift of growth and therefore a blessing. This again, for some was denying the pain and giving the darkness its own meaning and reality.

One thing is for sure: Biography work is alive and well and biography counselors and workers all across the globe are genuinely searching a path, the path of our human becoming.  These conferences are actual fields of practice where one can meet, encounter each other, and develop processes for others to take their life in hand and to regard the encounter as something sacred. To wake up to the other, to ask the age-old question, ‘who am I?,’ has never been asked more emphatically and never been listened to and (sometimes) been answered, more lovingly.

In the end, all the struggles of simultaneous translation, threshold challenges, cold or rain or not, was part of the experience of becoming human. The three of us from Canada, Dorothy LeBaron, Regine Kurek, and Elyse Pomeranz felt honoured and excited to be part of this community of like-minded souls.

Note: The Arscura Life as Art Biography Training is now part of the International Trainers Forum for Biography Work (ITF), a professional group within the General Anthroposophical Section of the School for Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, and we are so happy having found a home within the larger worldwide community.

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