Letter from Arie van Ameringen

Letter from Arie van Ameringen



The festival of the meeting of the Higher Self


I have just returned from a meeting of the North American Collegium.  This group is made up of representatives of the General Anthroposophical Section and of all the other Sections.  The participants meet twice yearly to share their spiritual-scientific research.  I was warmly welcomed as a new member representing Canada.

For this initial meeting, my role was that of listener as the others shared the results of their work on the four ethers.  At the end of the year I feel I should be able to present some of the results of this very complex question.  

On my way back from Kimberton (Pennsylvania), I stopped at Lake George, a magnificent spot located at the foot of the Adirondacks.  I found myself in a town preparing for the Americade, the largest gathering of bikers in the world (more than 50,000 participants).  My sleep was cut short by wave upon wave of roaring engines.
One could say that this was a festival of the individual seeking freedom of movement.

When we speak of Whitsun, we speak of freedom on quite another level.  What does this mean?  The festival of Whitsun allows the meeting of the human being with the Holy Spirit; it is up to each individual to work to free oneself from one’s earthly nature and become a true human being by establishing a link with the higher self.  By working on oneself, a human being participates in the development of mankind as a whole.  In so doing, one no longer works out of the stream of heredity, but rather finds one’s roots in the free individuality.   This is to say that in our time the Christ-inspired impulse towards the free deed takes place on a level above that of any group, nationality or ethnic origin.

During our AGM conference in Vancouver, Philip Thatcher drew our attention to the importance of the freely-performed deed as a healing process for karma.  Paul Mackay elaborated on this idea in his talk.  He asked the following question: What is your contribution to the destiny of our time?  He mentioned three stages as an aid to personal development:
1. What do I want to change in my life?
2. How can I bring about a lasting change?  When I carry the idea of this change into sleep, this change can become an ideal.
3. The importance of an inner dialogue with oneself in this process of change.  How can I create a bridge between the ideal and the realities of daily life?

In looking back over the AGM at the Goetheanum and the events surrounding it, before and after, we become of aware of the uncertainties and the fears generated by all the information in circulation.  In addition, the question of the representation of the membership in the voting process became crucial.

Members in various parts of Canada spontaneously created circles of warmth to support those who were meeting in Dornach.   The reports written by members who attended mention how the Executive Committee made every effort to explain the difficult decisions that had to be made during the year.

What can we learn from these events?

Obviously, this brings us back to the question of communication in the true sense, i.e. information that is shared by all and as such helps to build true community.  Information loses all relevance when it is not taken up in a positive manner.  The meeting of individuals with one another encourages this process of communication.  
The Whitsun imagination is one of a spiritual community created by the meeting of the higher selves of each individual.  We are being called upon to participate in this imagination.

In conclusion, I wish to extend my thanks to France Beaucage and Philip Thatcher for their inspired work on behalf of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada.  France carried the financial aspect with rigor and a great sense of moral commitment.  Philip, through his many travels, both here and abroad, created real possibilities for meeting among members.

Arie van Ameringen,
General Secretary