In the following blog the problem of student violence is being looked at, especially gun violence.
Possible reasons why it sometimes occurs are explored: Lack of love in childhood; technology playing a big role in the lives of today’s children and youths; evolutionary changes in the relationship of soul capacities and the difficulty of counteracting these; egoism taught in today’s team sports.
Remedies are discussed: Participation in artistic activities and a loving environment, as provided in Waldorf education; Christ as the Healer between the counterforces of Lucifer and Ahriman; Faith, Love and Hope; all this in the light of Rudolf Steiner’s indications given in Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science.
Inspiration is mentioned as the source of the idea for this blog as well as for the leading verse.
The three main articles of this blog are: A World Initiative; Encountering our Humanity; and Faith, Love and Hope. At the end of the blog they provide details of what has been outlined here.
Contributions between this introductory outline and the three main articles show the reaction of readers to the problems mentioned and the solutions suggested.
It’s now been a year since you phoned and told me of a dream you’d had and your conviction to form a vessel in support of teachers. I was deeply moved then and now I see the Circle of Light is a global movement in support of teachers.
As a (retired) Waldorf Class teacher, I recognize the value and great need the Circle of Light is providing. Educating children toward freedom, against a background of forces aimed at numbing and dumbing us down, is as difficult as it is necessary and teachers’ faith and hope is vital. Supporting teachers within their school communities is essential and Circle of Light is awakening all of us to our responsibility. I pass along a verse by Rudolf Steiner that was given to our School in Nelson while in its infancy. It has helped us over the years and it helps me personally to face difficult times of change and uncertainty:
“We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards Man, out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence – trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us. And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.”
Thank you Monica for your tireless efforts toward bringing light, inspiring and sharing your wisdom.
Elisabeth Carmack, Vancouver, Feb.2016: What Monica is trying to create through forming a global light building initiative to support Waldorf education is crucial in our time. Institutions that are trying to instill a sense of humanity in our time are vulnerable and are without the necessary resources to renew themselves, and also fall victim to inherent conflicts within their own walls and values.
I spoke at the meeting about how it would be helpful to unite schools through this global light community initiative so that an understanding would be developed that the pathology one witnesses in individual schools could be grasped as a universal trend. For example, I referenced how the imagination can be seen and used as both ‘arresting imagination’ and ‘generative imagination’. The ‘arresting imagination’ is used to strengthen any kind of ideology or fundamentalist belief, whereas the ‘generative imagination’ is used to develop personal freedom and individual identity. Not just in Steiner schools, but in all Anthroposophical institutions you can see ideological belief in conflict with free agency. Originally when Monica approached me about her idea and initiative, I suggested she write a prayer, which could then be used to unite us in our effort.
I think the quotation from Rudolf Steiner’s ‘Truth Wrought Words’ that Monica has chosen to place her initiative in a particular sphere of consciousness is extremely apt. At the first meeting Monica articulated how her vision for this initiative must be of the Christ, yet at the same time was extremely sensitive to how the word ‘Christ’ can lead to alienation in some.
I did not have time to take this up at the meeting, but felt it was imperative to honour Monica’s personal vision for this work. However, I am convinced it would be possible to evolve the idea into something more akin to Soloviev’s Divine Humanity, which acknowledges the ‘world soul’ as developing out of any practice of the higher self… which is endorsed in the third section of the Foundation Stone:
I look forward to seeing you all at our next gathering/meeting
Thoughts and Meditations sent in by Members and Friends
of the Circle of Light.
From Blanca Ponec, Vancouver, March 2016:
…. parts of man’s being are not arbitrarily distinguishable. They have merged so thoroughly to make the real nature of the human being that one can say: The spirit stems from the spirit land, the soul from the soul world and the physical body from the physical world; these components of the human being stem from three different worlds yet are joined together in man.
And when the human being takes his consciousness away with him out of the physical world, his inner being splits; out of one he becomes three. (Rudolf Steiner, Book of Revelation, Lecture 14, Dornach, Sept.18, 1924.)
What is now a joint activity of thought, feeling and will within man, will in future take on a separate character, and this will come to the fore in various spheres. We are just passing through a time in which humanity is unconsciously crossing the threshold of a significant portal, a fact which is clearly evident to the power of clairvoyance. Humanity passes through this crossing of the threshold in such a way that the spheres of thought, feeling and will become separated. (Rudolf Steiner. The Crossing of the Threshold and the Social Organism.)
Te Kura o Rudolf Steiner Otautahi Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School
Student Use of Mobile Phones and Digital Devices
Over the last year, teachers have been concerned about the amount of time students are occupied with mobile phones and digital devices during their free time at school. After many meetings and discussions, the Upper School teachers have written a policy on student use of mobile phones and digital devices which you should have received by email. This policy comes into effect on Wednesday 22nd March. This is a big step for the school, a brave initiative, which we hope will lead our students towards a renewed focus on interacting together in conversation and debate, engaging in social activities, games and sports, and a focus in classrooms on the teachers and learning rather than how to avoid being spotted sending a snapchat to a mate.
Mobile phones and digital devices have an important place in aspects of student learning, particularly in senior classes in which students are preparing to move on to tertiary training or the workforce. This policy has been written to support students in the responsible use of digital devices as a tool for learning. From Wednesday onwards, we are creating zones that are digital device free, namely at all times and in all places except those where teachers have given students permission to use a digital device as part of a specific learning task. No mobile phone usage is permitted from 8.25am until 3.25pm in the school grounds except in designated zones for contacting parents or in an emergency. The designated zones are the school office and upper school coordinators office. Digital devices can only be used in the classroom with teacher permission. Senior students (Class 11 and 12) are encouraged to bring their own device (BYOD) but must sign a Netsafe responsible use agreement/contract tomorrow. The agreement will also be given to Class 8-10 students in the coming weeks as these classes may still use school computers for some class activities. Our intention is to provide more awareness, support and guidance for our ako around responsible use of digital devices, digital citizenship, cyber-bullying and general well-being at school and at home. We hope you can support this at home — ‘mobile phone away / now let’s play’ or some other fun ditty that encourages social activities without the other invisible ‘social media communicator’. Read more
“I refuse to believe that there does not exists, or has ever existed, a person that has not made use of his example to lessen his sins, even though he may have done so without realizing it. The lives of all have, in some greater or lesser degree, been changed by His presence, His actions and the words spoken by His divine voice. I believe that he belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all races and people, it matters little under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith, or worship a God inherited from their ancestors.
~ Mahatma K. Gandhi
A brief look at Holy Week gives us an overview of the events that took place for Jesus and His disciples. The names of the seven days of the week as used in the English and French languages, allow us to see how the seven days of the Holy Week are reflected in the planetary spheres. Through this, everything takes on a new meaning.
Bethphage, Fig Tree
Spiritual Battles, Cleansing of the Temple, Prophesy: Destruction of Jerusalem.
Judas accepts 30 pieces of silver for the betrayal. The last anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene.
Maundy Thursday Washing of the feet; The Last Supper; Judas’ Betrayal.
[Good Friday] Crucifixion
Christ in the World of the Departed.
Easter Sunday: Resurrection. Past Battling changes into love.;
Not only was that which happened on earth during this week recorded for eternity, but it is accompanied by the suffering and pain of planetary angels.
One way of understanding this majestic mystery is through an exploration of the colours assigned to the planets through colour-exercises. As an art-therapist I have come to the point that each colour can, either through painting or through meditation, become a true experience in the soul. And this experience. is the same for every human being.Read more
The last couple of days here in Toronto the winds were blowing, the trees bending the leaves swirling. And recently soul winds are swirling across the globe. Storms of fear, anxiety and hate… gusts of anger, shock and uncertainty … these soul winds are bending our human branches, challenging our roots… calling on our soul roots to dig deep.
This is because every human being, like the trees, has roots, inner roots. And these inner roots keep us steady when storms come. Like the trees, our inner roots are nourished, not by the winds and storms of fear and hate arising from personal experiences, we are nourished by the substance and being of The Ground of the World. Human souls are strengthened, not by swaying this way and that with endless arguments, human souls are strengthened by roots that push down into the Father Ground.
Dear friends, let us remember, in this time of soul storms and turmoil, that Christ did not come into the world to support a particular point of view or a particular country. Let us remember that the real world is not what we see in the media. Let us remember that our battle is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual adversaries that seek to fill our hearts with fear and hate. Let us remember that our task is not to fix the world, but to bring love into a broken world. Let us remember that the divine call is still the same as it has always been for centuries. We should not waste our time by trying to eradicate and destroy evil, but in a destructive darkness find the light. Let us remember that Christ walks with all human souls no matter how corrupt, hoping to root us in the Father Ground of the World.Read more