04 Aug Letter from the General Secretary – June 2015
This year’s Annual General Meeting was held in Toronto on May 16, 2015. The AGM was attended by some sixty participants and was followed by the annual conference. There were also a number of Class Holders from across Canada present during this weekend event. (See the articles by Dorothy LeBaron and Richard Chomko in this edition.)
Beginning on Sunday evening, May 17th, and lasting all day Monday, the annual gathering of the Council of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada with Canadian Class Holders took place. Research themes have been taken on by this group every year since 2003, and this annual meeting is made possible thanks to a Society fund earmarked specifically for the work of the School for Spiritual Science. This allows the Council members to receive the support of the Class Holders for their work and also gives the Class Holders time to meet among themselves to discuss problems specific to their task.
The General Anthroposophical Section
This year, we have deliberately renamed this group the General Anthroposophical Section in order to acknowledge the presence of Monique Walsh, who represents this Section for Canada in the Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner had clearly stated that members of the School for Spiritual Science, besides being connected to a Section related to their profession, were all members of the is devoted to the “universally human” and takes up questions concerning:the nature of the human being, reincarnation and karma, meditation, Christ and the hierarchies, and community building. This universally human aspect extends into all walks of life, and each member of the School for Spiritual Science belongs to this Section by virtue of his or her work with the lessons of the First Class. At the Goetheanum, emphasis has been put on this Section by identifying the members of the Executive Committee as representing this Section for the entire General Anthroposophical Society.
For some time now meditation has become a subject of widespread interest in the western world. In the 90’s the hot topic was angels, and then karma and reincarnation (these terms are now used rather frequently in everyday conversation), and now there are efforts afoot to introduce meditative practices in the workplace, in schools and universities – these practices often being influenced by Oriental traditions. Now several anthroposophically inspired books on meditation have become available in English and French. Heinz Zimmerman (former Vorstand member deceased in 2011) and Robin Schmidt, who has taken on the responsibility for the meditation initiative at the Goetheanum, published a book in German in 2010 in which they share their years’ of experience leading workshops on inner work. Basing their writings on Rudolf Steiner’s indications, the authors offer invaluable details on how to practice meditation using verses, symbols or images. What is particular here is that the writers constantly refer to texts by Rudolf Steiner and insist on the importance of returning to the source. This book will be available shortly English and French thanks to support granted by the Anthroposophical Society in Canada. The English translation of the German original has been completed by Heidi Vukovich and Maria-Theresia Roemmelt, and is currently being revised by Eric Philips-Oxford. The translation into French from the German original has been done by Arie van Ameringen and Renée Cossette and is being revised by Michel Dongois.
Those of you who have a particular research theme you would like to share during the research reports section of the 2016 conference are requested to contact John Bach. He has written a brief description to serve as a guide for those wishing to prepare a presentation on their research.
This is designed to afford individuals the opportunity of sharing their thoughts and questions on a research theme inspired by anthroposophy. The research questions can be connected to the conference themes and should originate with a question and be carried out using precise methodology and appropriate tools. Several individuals have already stated their wish to participate in this part of the conference, which will take place in Ottawa. Would you perhaps like to join in on this venture?
The meeting of Class Holders with the North American Collegium of the School for Spiritual
Science: An Appeal
In August of this year, a meeting of Class Holders with the Collegium in North America will be held in Spring Valley. This important event is being organized by Virginia Sease, Herbert Hagens and Penelope Baring. This conference will focus on bringing clarity in relation to the nature of the General Anthroposophical Section and the work of the School for Spiritual Science.
Several Canadian Class Holders would like to attend this event, and since travelling expenses for this conference were not budgeted in this year’s financial forecast, we are appealing to the generosity of our Society members. Any additional gift you may be able to make will be greatly appreciated and would allow participants from Canada to make the journey to attend the event. Contributions should be earmarked General Anthroposophical Section and sent to our head office.
We are grateful for your support in any amount you may be able to give.
Wishing you a fine, sun-filled summer,
Arie van Ameringen,