20 Nov From the World Society
Dear members and friends of the Anthroposophical Society in Canada:
Each autumn a set of intensive meetings takes place that reflects on the events of spring and summer and look forward to the coming year. One is the meeting of the North American Collegium of the School for Spiritual Science, and the other is what has been a meeting of the Council for the Anthroposophical Society in Canada with the Circle of class holders in Canada.
The Collegium met over four days in mid-October at the Fellowship Community in Spring Valley, an hour north of New York City. The impulse to establish the Collegium in North America happened concurrently with the inauguration of Section work in North America. This complemented the evolving development of the Sections taking place at the Goethenum. The work of the various Sections, along with the multitude of institutions and initiatives arising out of the Sections, has flourished over these years. At the heart of all of this work is the intention to bring about a transformation of our contemporary culture. At the centre of this ever expanding activity stands the work of the Collegium. In our meetings this year, we continued work begun last year – to reflect on the evolution of the work of each Section in North America and how it can evolve in the coming years.
Included in the work of the Collegium is the concern for the life and health of the Anthroposophical Societies in the US and Canada, and in the future Mexico as well; by considering their respective Groups and Branches. Here, the development has been different from that of the initiatives and institutions. The growth of the membership within these two Societies, and the activity of the Groups, has not developed as the institutions have. The demographic makeup of those active within the two Societies has also shifted toward older members.
These trends have formed the domain of the work of the Collegium in recent years. What has gradually evolved out of that work is a growing sense that the living experience and immediacy of anthroposophy that we all share, calls for being strengthened and intensified. For those working out of the Sections and into the initiatives, it is this vibrant life of anthroposophy that informs all that takes place. It is this ever renewing stream that continuously brings meaning and effectiveness into all of our initiatives.
In a similar manner, it is when we have the experience of this immediacy of anthroposophy within our Groups and Branches, that we have the experience of coming close to what has drawn us all to this impulse to transform and renew our culture out of spiritual inspiration.
Each of us, in our own unique way, has been led to a meeting with anthroposophy. It is the common ground upon which we all stand – whether we become active in how anthroposophy can be applied in the world, or how we seek to bring anthroposophy alive in our soul life, it is this experience of a living stream that we step into that gives meaning to our lives, meaning that we each experience in unique and differentiated ways. Yet despite this multiplicity of experience, the longing to connect with this life stream of anthroposophy is what we have in common
So it is that within the remarkable structure of our General Anthroposophical Societies, within which rests the School for Spiritual Science with its Sections working into the institutions, is a unifying organ that Rudolf Steiner identified as the General Anthroposophical Section.
It is to this central organ that both the Collegium and the Circle of class holders turned this autumn; experiencing that this region, or field, that we all have in common now needs our special attention. By discerning what it is that has moved through our biographies that has brought us into connection with this anthroposophical movement, we collectively awaken the reality of this sphere that is common to us all. In so doing, we have the possibility of strengthening and focusing the living forces that unite us in our common striving, that the dignity and meaning of being human in our time can become an ever stronger beacon in our challenging times.
General Secretary, Canada