Lectures given by Jesaiah ben Aharon in Järna, Sweden
for the Anthroposophical Society 20th and 21st February 2004
Lecture Friday morning 20th February 04: The World Situation at Present
Jesaiah began by describing the method which we as anthroposophists should work with.
Our tasks come to us as the actual world situation, from the outside world. We contemplate and reflect inwardly on the world situation and transform objective events into questions. Events and situations occur in the world outside. Inwardly, we transform them into questions. But the Answers do not come from inside us. The dialogue between external events and inner questioning allows the spiritual world to speak. We need to cultivate an active listening and questioning, which creates a dialogue between us and the world, between the outer and the inner. This leads to an inspiration, and objective supersensible judgment, the truth of the matter at hand, of what is needed. The world situation today is shaped by the clash of civilisations, the American Empire, by the anti-Christ forces, which are working against humanity on the one side. This is described by Huntington when he says: ” I can only love myself when I know who I hate and I can only know myself when I know who I am not”. Jesaiah described a counter picture to this in his my public lecture on “Israel in he midst of the clash of civilizations”. He shared this as an example of the new resurrection forces born in those Israeli Christian and Muslim Arabs and Jews, and who travelled to Auschwitz. Man makes a sacrifice and joins the Time spirit.
This is an example of how a group of dedicated Israeli people came to an inspiration and took an initiative, because they created such a dialogue with their world. This should be taken as an example by anthroposophists. If the Anthroposophical society will adopt this esoteric way of working, it will again become a vehicle for the Time Spirit. All forms can be changed within the Anthroposophical Society if they are based on a real dialogue as described above. The point of departure should be the events which come to us from outside and not texts from Rudolf Steiner’s books. Esoteric means: working independently with your own “I” forces, in and out of the given situation. Texts are study materials, preparing us for meeting reality, and not substitution for the meeting with reality. We devalue Steiner’s work constantly if we don’t use it in this way. We must assimilate them so deeply into us that we completely forget them when we approach reality and begin the real dialogue with it as describe above.
During the 20th century and its three World Wars (WW1, WW2 and the Cold War) we lived in a Europe centred period. But the US was taking over step by step. It is a “work in progress”, where the US first takes over Europe and Asia in three stages, through three world wars. Europe allowed this because it could not find its true mission and goals. At the end of the 19th century the social question arose within the proletariat in Europe, but the leaders/the elite ignored this cry. They sat on a social volcano, but their ignorance and lack of heart forces was huge. This led to communism and Bolshevism in Russia, fascism and eventually to National Socialism in central Europe.
Today the situation is the same. We have a huge social question, which the leading elite are totally irresponsible to. But today the question is global, the volcano is global. The irresponsibility of the elite leads them to believe that they can control the starving, poor, frustrated with economic, cultural and military forces.
What we see today as terrorism in Islam and elsewhere is a small beginning of what can erupt. The polarisation between the North-West and the South-East is pictured as follows:
· 1/6 to 1/5 of the world is the Golden billion who use 80% of the world’s resources.
· 1/6 of world population is starving – app. 1 billion.
· 2/6 of the world population is between the rich and poor but struggle to join the rich.
· 2/6 of world population lives on app. 3 dollars a day.
So 20 % of the population use 80% of resources
80% of the population use 20 % of resources.
The 400 richest have as much wealth as 2½ billion people which is almost half the world population. It is important to feel what this means – not just to understand it.
This discrepancy between rich and poor is even greater than it was in the old Egyptian times. Today it is a global discrepancy and not a local one as in ancient Egypt. What is more – then the poor and simple people had very different experience of society than the poor have today. The elite leaders were experienced as god-like, as actually closer to the gods than to ordinary humans, and the folk could still instinctively feel that their fabulous riches were a part of their divine heritage and responsibility, and that they were using them for the good of everyone.
Since the birth of the consciousness soul, since the 15-17 centuries, this situation has changed. The social question as a modern question arose only then. Today we instinctively develop more and more a sense for equality and individual freedom and we expect brotherhood to shape our social life. We expect to share our fortunes and misfortunes with our fellow human beings. Therefore, the masses will continue to revolt against the elite and their measures of suppression will increase.
The Anglo-American domination of the world – on purely power basis- dates back to the end of the 19th century. Then you find the basic drafts and world maps that describe how in the next century- the 20th- this world hegemony will be achieved. The First World War itself was part of putting this plan into praxis. The establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the US during and right after the World War was another step, as described in Jesahia’s book, America’s Global Responsibility.
The Second World War was the second step in the shaping of the new map of Europe and the world, and with it also the transference of the external world domination from the British Empire to the emerging US Empire. And as during the first world war the CFR was established, as a long hand tool to direct domestic and world affairs according to elite policies, so also during the second world war, in 1941, the infamous Breton Woods consultations took place during which the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and first elements of the World Trade Organization (WTO) were formed to set the terms of commerce, loan and development, according to the “Washington consensus”, for the coming second half of the 20th century. Today we see the result of this, how the three “evil brothers” cooperate to control and parasitically suck the life forces of the world. For example, the North-West dominated WTO requires open boarders, “free market” and elimination of tariffs and taxes in order to maintain their global economic hegemony. The phrases speak about “free” market, “free” flow of goods, services and capital, but at the same time subsidising its own agriculture with a fantastic yearly sum of 600 billion dollars, which is only exceeded by annual military expenses that amount to 900 billion dollars. This leads to “rich” country’s farmers dumping their products on poor countries at prices which are unrealistically low, destroying poor nation’s economies and social life.
The farmers in the poor countries become desperate and many commit suicide, with 20.000 suicides among Indian farmer alone reported for 2003. (In Cancun, a leading Korean farmer committed an honorary suicide to show solidarity with desperate farmers in the world).
Thus the WTO completely undermines the basic social structures in poor countries, and so a vicious circle may begin. Farmers cannot live of their farming, they move to the city slums and become part of the huge urban problem. This leads governments of poor countries to borrow money from IMF in order to solve some of these social problems. But then IMF imposes socially devastating so called “structural adjustments” – imposing on poor nations sever budget cuttings, undermining public education, health care, infrastructure etc. In other words, undermining precisely all those things one wished to develop further by taking the loan. Now, obviously, the poor country cannot pay back the loans and enter the heavy debt burden. And the same applies to many undertakings of the WB etc. etc. This is a vicious circle where all revenues are needed to pay back loans and even this is not enough. Meanwhile, the poor countries had opened their markets for foreign export and investment. The public infrastructures and economic assets have been bought at a low price. The poor countries cannot defend themselves against these purchases. (See JBA”s book, America’s Global Responsibility for detailed example of this vicious circle that shows how the Asian economy was destroyed during the economic crisis of 1997-8)
These “three evil brothers” have been working for the last 50 years. The world has become a sick social and ecological organism. The “head system” (North/West, rich countries) is sucking all life from the “metabolic system” (the South, poor countries) and the middle heart and lung system had a “heart transplantation” operation in the 20th century. The head cannot think properly because of the overwhelming amount of unnecessary life forces. So we see a dreaming, sleeping consciousness in the North, which is not awake to what is going on in the world.
The South deprived of its life forces is forced to awaken through the pain and frustration, which they are subjected to. The middle heart and lung should have been Europe. But Europe was taken over by the head forces of the west so that even here a division between east and west between rich and poor comes about, and no regulating, harmonizing, breathing system exists globally.
This is the reason why the 21st century starts with a sick planetary organism. The poor are all too conscious in their pain and seeing the rich wallowing in wealth. The rich are stupefied by their affluence, their heart forces decline and become stuned. The proletariat is now not only a Europe group, but a global situation concerning half of humanity. And the rich and powerful in the North-West dream away their responsibility for humanity in their affluent clouds far from realities of the poor.
We need to create the heart lung system everywhere in the world in order to heal the sickness of the world. This is the task of the 21st global spiritual movement, of which global Civil Society is a part, from the point of view of spiritual- science.
Friday evening 20th February 04: Impulses of Resurrection at the End of the 20th Century
As we saw, the situation in the world today is not a chance happening, but a result of well planed strategy. – It is portrayed as chance and chaos by the media, but this is a mask created behind which one can allow the strategies to develop undisturbed by public interference. However enough is published and discussed openly to reveal what the real plans are.
Of course, the good forces also have their divine long term plans. RS describes these forces, and how they can be used for the best of humankind as a whole. The same knowledge is possessed by those that use it in order to benefit only a small group of human being, at the expense of the good of the whole. There is enough of everything for everybody if we only worked in a balanced way. These good forces could hardly find a hearing, let alone act, during most of the 20th century, until its very end. The ruling elite felt extraordinarily triumphant the more we drew close to the end of last century. They saw their work of global dominance near completion and felt they could progress undisturbed. After Europe’s spiritual defeat in the first third of last century, the west had its chance during the 60s. There have indeed been a few disturbances in the 60s with reactions to Vietnam, student revolts etc. But the elite came back on line fast in the 70s and 80s, after their “errors” of the 60s. They did away with the two Kennedy brothers who entertained – at least in their higher selves! - Some other ideas about the war in Vietnam, relations with Russia and East Europe and some social issues. “Ich bin ein Berliner” declared JFK in his famous 1962 speech in Berlin, upsetting his elite mentors a great deal with his suggestions that the cold war may be over soon, quite contrary to their plans to continue it until the end of the century. They also did away with Martin Luther King who could have become a candidate for presidency. The good forces were suppressed brutally. But, of course, the law is that impulses from higher spiritual and moral forces cannot be suppressed – only postponed. These moral forces would have changed plans for the rest of the 20th century from the century’s beginning, in each new third, but they were suppressed again and again. They came back in much greater and more mature force in the 90s – one Saturn cycle later, at the end of the last third of the 20th century. Also here we can discern an important spiritual-historical law in operation: what is suppressed in one point or centre, resurrects in the periphery in many places.
In Anthroposophical development RS’s untimely death was a result of (resulted in) central Europe’s collapse, of Germany’s catastrophe. But the suppressed centre is coming back and is resurrected in the periphery in many, mostly unexpected, because not “central” places! One symptom of this global resurrection is that the Spirit of our time and historical Anthroposophy begin to meet again after long separation. This was not possible in the 30s and 60s. Today it is increasingly possible and will become increasingly so in the coming time.
The fist seeds that sprout after the long 20th’s winter come from the periphery and not from the “mother field” (Anthroposophy), who was still asleep/dormant in the 60s. These seeds developed somewhat in the 60s but without the support of the mother field they could hardly survive. They came back in the 90s and there for the first time in the whole 20th century began to find connection to historical Anthroposophy. According to the former Michalic plan, described by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, it was planed that Anthroposophy and the Time Spirit should converge on a grand scale by the end of the last century. But this did not happen. What did happen was that small but vital and vibrant peripheral seeds of this hoped-for mighty transformation, did become operative. It was, however, not the formerly planed global culmination of the 20th, but at first glimpse, a beginning of the second Michalic plan for the 21st century. Being small as they truly are, these seeds are yet incredibly potent, and have already changed the course to human history for the better. They are so powerful because they are the true Michaelic Anthroposophical seeds for the 21st century.
Civil Society matured over 30 years and began to change world affairs in the 90s. Many of the leaders of Civil Society were of the 60s generation – not flower children anymore, but mature and serious bearers of the voice of humanity’s moral conscience.
1992 – World Summit in Rio – Civil Society first visible appearance and influence on a large scale – bringing world powers to sign the Kyoto agreement, then came Seattle 1999 as a result of careful preparations and sacrificial activity of millions of dedicated civil society individuals and organizations. The collapse of the WTO in Cancun last year was the final result of the whole powerful impulse of the 90s. The poor countries have had enough of lies and empty promises. 22 countries walked out of the meeting and thanked Civil Society for their support and help.
One little known but immensely important victory of global civil society took place at the very end of the century, right before the victory of Seattle. This was the stopping of MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment). This secret processes, directed by the most influential circles among the OECD countries, should have given unlimited legal power for foreign investors over national sovereignty and legislation. It would have cemented the power structure lid over world investment and finances. Work on MAI was totally secret with no reporting. All concerned of course knew, as well as those controlling the so called “free” media. It was necessary to keep it secret because the elite knew that MAI would not be accepted by all who could see the consequences of such an agreement. In 1941 where plans for the preliminary WTO, IMF and WB were worked out, it was not necessary to keep such secrecy because everyone was engaged with the war. Now the situation was of course totally different and top secrecy was seen to be essential. But, God interfered, speaking through the voice of conscience. Only because a high official felt moral shame for what was going on and “leaked” the plan of the MAI to a Civil Society organisation did the relevant information spread widely. And this was the death blow for the MAI, of course, because free access to information and knowledge is what these powers detest the most. Now the fatal flaw for the elite is the Civil Society with its conscience and morality, and the feeling of shame in face of the global injustice and corruption.
In the period between 95 and 99 when the MAI should have augmented the WTO, it was global Civil Society which put on the breaks. Precisely in this very crucial time, in the mid 90s the battle against the emerging WTO in the Philippines and south-east Asia was takeing place. Our friend and colleague and this year’s Alternative Noble Prize winner Nicanor Perlas played a central role. This was the first conscious spark in which historical representation of the mother field, met and reached a certain, relative, but already so potent, mutual integration with representative of the Time Spirit working via global Civil Society. Jesaiah spoke about this in greater detail on the following day.
Another aspect of this time must be mentioned here as well, because it is directly connected to any phenomenological historical study of the end of the last century. At the beginning of the 90s a study paper delivered at the Prince of Wales Economic Forum introduced Threefolding via the concept of “tri-sector” society for the first time into the world of elite circles and organizations. In this study, civil society was represented as the third, cultural-spiritual sector. Soon the UN adopted the Tri-sector approach and created a vast network of “tri-sector partnerships”. The WB followed suite, and since then James Wolffenson will not give a public speech without proclaiming the gospel of cooperation between business, governments and civil society, and the WB has invested large sums in such plans and projects ever since. In the 90s the “good” forces did come to stop total catastrophe. Civil Society was asleep in Yugoslavia but awake in the economic sphere. The elite wished to seal the work – cap it with a stone to ensure it went as they wished. But the grave is open, the stone is not there, and new possibilities are open - possibilities for resurrection.
A personal note from Jesaiah. At the end of 97 and in winter 98 he sat with a heavy heart. Knowing well for some time that RS’s hopes for a culmination of Anthroposophy would not take place, he was still aware of the fact that resurrection was taking place in the spiritual world, since the middle of the 20th century. But he also knew that some other manifestations, even most preliminary, of this resurrection must show themselves as first, but powerful, new Michaelic impulses. Where were signs of this happening on earth? Where did Anthroposophy become influential externally, in world affairs, changing history? This was his burning question in these years. Then he received an e-mail from Nicanor Perlas with an invitation to participate in a conference in Manila, remarkably entitled: Globalisation, Threefolding, and Anthroposophy! Nicanor wrote that Jesaiah’s book “The Spiritual Event of the 20th Century” had made clear for him what he was trying to do with Threefolding and civil society. Jesaiah could now see real seeds for the forces of resurrection. In October 1998 the Manila conference took place. At the same time the MAI was collapsing.
In the last years of the 20th century hope was there for the connecting of the mother field with its peripheral offspring, expressing themselves also in Civil Society. Globe Net 3 was founded with the goal of helping to bring a close cooperation between the historical Anthroposophy and Michaelic elements in the world at large. Both must learn from each other the need to be transformed. Anthroposophy needs to address once more the global challenges and civil society will learn to understand the spiritual language needed for our time. We anthroposophists need to see the many Michaelites active everywhere, in all fields of life, also within global civil society. We need to learn a common language and to speak Threefolding out of the needs in the real world. What divided into two streams in the 20th century will become again one stream working in the periphery as unity of centre and periphery in the 21st century.
Some answers to questions which arouse after we broke into groups.
Transformation of WTO, IMF and WB.
WTO should become a global economic association, in which consumers, traders, producers should regulate economic life.
IMF and WB both belong to the spiritual and cultural sphere.
Handling banking/capital is a spiritual, moral matter, and must be trusted to the free, third sector of society. Because now in Europe and elsewhere the third sector has become totally a state supported appendage, and most anthroposophical institutes became state supported institutes, we must look for free human spirits, that can again begin to think and act in the original sense of threefolding. New moral forces are needed in order to decide what to develop for human existence (Lola fund as alternative to IMF will not work as long as it is within the political framework. It must be made free, go into the cultural sphere). World Social Forum shows the weakness of the Civil Society. There is still a strong inherited tendency towards Marxist thinking, which is twofolded with politics as the ruling force and civil society as mere social “superstructure”.
Saturday morning: History and Counterfactual History of the Anthroposophical Movement in the 20th Century
Jesaiah again emphasised the esoteric method that should permeate our exoteric work. We should let realities speak to us and our inner should try to reflect and contemplate in order to transform realties into questions. Our questioning activity becomes a dialogue with the world, preparing the ground for an objective spiritual activity and judgment that come neither from “outside”, nor from “within”, but from the spiritual world. But we should be aware of the preparatory work, the study, etc. the old concepts, which keep popping up in us and speak through our heads and not through our hearts. We should put them aside and let experience speak; thinking living entrance and delving into the situation becomes “Wahr-nemung” – not conceptual reflection on what we already know in theory.
Anthroposophy is new and so we make mistakes time and time again. But we can learn to do it better with each new Michael century. So now we have a new opportunity to learn how to work with the basic forces and dynamics of Anthroposophy. Historically the consciousness soul is new, the global situation is new, and Anthroposophy as a spiritual path is new. Therefore we have a long path of learning ahead of us and it is no wonder that we do things wrong. We are all as little children learning to walk. But are we aware of this fact? Do we know that we are children exploring a new territory? Because children also learn very fast, and are open and fresh, seeing the world constantly with new eyes and hearts…
We can compare the 300 years of Michaelic time to the first three years of a child’s life: the first three earthly stages of the development of the consciousness soul. Seeds of all future development are planted there and this time ends with the first experience of the spiritual independent individuality. When the Michaelic age ends, humanity should have developed the strength of spirit filled and inwardly guided self, consciously connected to the spiritual worlds. This will be needed in the coming age because between the 23rd and 26th centuries the Time Spirit will be Oriphiel which is the very opposite of Michael. Michael is the Christ Sun Power. Oriphiel is a Saturn power, wholly separating humanity from any external spiritual guidance and revelation. He is the darkening spirit, which eclipsed the sun at the time of the mystery of Golgotha, a force of complete darkness. The only power we human beings will have in his age is that which we create within ourselves. Therefore it is important that at the end of the Michael age there shall be some human beings who can carry independently a powerful reality of Spirit Self. Today we have the first 100 years of the present Michaelic age behind us, and we need to clearly see what has happened and what we need to prepare for the second and third- 21st and 22nd -Michaelic centuries.
Now anthroposophical history of the 20th century has yet to be written, both for humanity as a whole, as well as for the anthroposophical movement and society.
We shall call what Anthroposophy had to accomplish in the course of the 20th century, the first Michaelic century, plan A of Michael. This plan meant: developing Anthroposophy gradually from the centre towards the world periphery until the end of the century, and then undergoing a metamorphosis, an “Umstuelpung”, becoming a global movement. Because this plan failed to materialize, and everything froze down at the moment of RS’s death, we are still stuck with remnants of plan As unfulfilled and untransformed centralism. The centralized form of the anthroposophical society was good and proper then for the first third of the 20th century, with Rudolf Steiner himself creating a centre and leading a centre under his central guidance. He himself was starting up, as any foundation must of course do, with one teacher, one geographical space, middle Europe, one chosen people, Germany, one centralized social and spiritual structure centred in the Goetheanum, etc. If plan A would have been realized, this centralization would have been gradually and organically transformed in the course of the whole 20th century, and today we would have had a totally different form not to mention substance.
Anthroposophy was given with the intention that it would grow and develop and increase as social-cultural influence, from one third of the 20th century to the next, reaching a stage of maturity and transformation, termed by RS as “culmination”, at the end of the century. But world karma has taken the worst course. This caused the premature death of Rudolf Steiner and the development of the movement and society, which was intended, stopped. It had been intended that Anthroposophy should be a force that took deep root in middle Europe, became influential in guiding its course also in external, social, political and cultural aspects. As Jesaiah indicated in his book, The Spiritual Event of the 20th Century, counterfactual research of the history of Anthroposophy of the 20th century reveals that RS should and could have reached his 72 year precisely in the most significant year of the 20th century, namely, 1933, enabling Anthroposophy to confront the new powers of evil with the new Christ forces, and then, after his natural departure, it could have continued to expand and grow within and from Europe and reach a culmination at the end of the 20th century as planed under plan A of Michael. At this culmination new impulses would have been given for the 21st century, the movement and society would have reversed, inside out and outside in, becoming orientated towards the first truly global century of humanity.
It should have been the task of Anthroposophy to prepare Europe for what came up so powerfully from the 30s on, to awaken and to understand what was happening. Humanity was now already far beyond the threshold and the question was whether we would become conscious of this fact or not. And we didn’t.
If the threshold was crossed consciously through anthroposophy and the Christ forces, then one could confront the evil in oneself. This was the “Good” Michaelic plan which RS has described in 1924. But human beings in our time have a wholly new relation to the divine plan, because we live in the Michaelic Age of freedom. We are free either to understand and consciously work with God, or reject His ideas altogether and do the very opposite of what He kindly suggests! For the 20th century, we have chosen the wrong path. Humanity rejected Michael’s plan with such overwhelming dedication to evil, bringing about catastrophes beyond the worst that could have been imagined in the past.
It is hard for Anthroposophists to admit this, of course, because the Karma of our movement and society became not a true alternative, but unfortunately largely part of this karma of humanity. It may help if we consider it more objectively, not only as the result of this or that person’s failure, but really as part of humanity’s karma.
So it came to pass that in 1933 humanity entirely confused the moral judgment concerning good and evil. Evil was called good and the good evil, not only in Germany, but throughout the whole world. In Germany it was so painful and tragic, only because of the special mission that this people should have had already in the 20th century. But the German’s had chosen Hitler instead of Steiner, to put it rather drastically but nonetheless accurately.
We know that Anthroposophy should have been spread by then far enough in Europe and Germany especially, in order to enable humanity to understand that if one is on the other side of the threshold without conscious spiritual understanding, one experience’s a fatal reversal – things become their opposite. Christ is seen as evil and the evil forces as Christ. The karmic task of the German people had been to accept Anthroposophy for which they had the preconditions. But they took the opposite course in the 20th century and will have to first come to real terms with it, in order to be able to rightly approach their mission in this century.
In 1933 the second coming of Christ was neither seen nor understood, and was transformed into it’s opposite. But that which did not happen on earth took place in the spiritual worlds in the second third of the century, especially in the 12 years, 1933-1945. (See Jesaiah’s book: The Spiritual Event of the 20th Century).
Until today, this anthroposophical history and this history of anthroposophy, as Jesaiah outlines it here, is not taken into account in general anthroposophical works. This also means that the Michaelic stream, since RS’s death, has been divided into two streams. The one has concerned it self with survival – a continuation of the existing works given by RS. The other stream is composed of those concerned with the events in the spiritual world after 1925. The concern for survival was justified in face of the huge world catastrophes. We must see that much of this survival was based on sacrificial and truly sincere anthroposophical deeds. But this must also not mislead us to believe that survival is connected to the main Michaelic plan. Survival is human necessity, not a spiritual impulse or strategy. Survival for itself, necessary as it is, must be distinguished from the life of the spiritual movement of Michael then and today.
The task for Anthroposophists now can be, first, to awaken from the last centurys sleep and forgetting, to understand what actually happed during our sleep, and second, to wake up in the real present, in order to find out what are the basic outlines of the new Michaelic plan for His second century.
Let us recapitulate again in the sense of Neil Ferguson’s “counterfactual history” what should and could have taken place according to Michael’s and RS’s hopes for plan A: Anthroposophy was founded on Earth as a centralized impulse: one founder, one place (middle Europe) one leading spiritual-social organ. All initiatives start that way – from a centre, but then they, if they stay alive and grow in the right way, undergo an organic metamorphosis. Anthroposophy should have prospered, expanding its sphere of influence and deepening its spiritual substance, until the culmination and reversal of centre and periphery at the end of the 20th century. RS should have worked until 1933 when the birth of the new Christ experience came. Anthroposophy should have spread throughout Europe with the good forces strengthened in real time recognizing and transforming evil. In 1933 an unknown, impoverished and mad painter (Hitler) would have committed suicide in Vienna. RS, after completing his plans for the new formation of the society and High School, would have given the Anthroposophical Society future impulses and thereafter could have remained in supersensible contact with it also after his death. During the second third of the century already, there would have developed a consciousness of the spiritual worlds, growing out of the new clairvoyant faculties among many humans and also among anthroposophists. After 1966 the Society would have developed increasingly and organically to become a world movement. This would have demanded an organic change of structure and substance. The centralised organism would not have been adequate any longer. It would have become more decentralized and modern as befitting a spiritual and social free association of freely striving human beings in this age of freedom. It could have accomplished initially real meetings and mutual integration with the real shaping forces of the world periphery already in the 60s and the 70s.
But RS died in 1925 and the forces of conserving and survival set in. But the spiritual world does not stand still or conserve. The Time Spirit moves on, pragmatically adjusting itself to human failures in the age of freedom, it does not stand still at 1925.
RS described in the Karma lectures of 1924 the hoped for plan A, the possibility that Anthroposophy should develop further and further throughout the whole century. He should have died in the late 30s in order then to reincarnate back rather quickly with all the others to guide Anthroposophy and create the hoped for culmination at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. At this point there also would have incarnated the Platonic stream which had not yet incarnated in the 20th century. It would have been a huge metamorphosis, with RS and Alanus ab Insulis from Charters, and their thousands of fine Michaelic fighters giving us a new impulse making the society into a proper global society for the global tasks in the first true global century of humanity. At this flowering point of the 20th century metamorphosis would have taken place as naturally as in the case of any flowering plant: spiritually, powerful spiritual rejuvenation and fructification of Spiritual Science from fresh supersensible research would have occurred, and socially, periphery and centre would have been organically reversed. Many mature fruits of the 20th would have become available for humanity, and many new seeds and sprouts would have been coming to life around the earth. The centre of the society would have become peripheral, that is, spiritual, free and world active and open, and social, economic and cultural impulses would have been generated, directly changing and influencing world events in external, day to day history.
But all this did not happen.
Michael had to draw up a new plan for the next chance, his second century, as obviously it was already clear at the time of RS’s death that plan A was obsolete. Now, the 21st century is the first global century and Anthroposophy should have become a global movement, directly involved in shaping world history. It should have long been transformed from a centralized central European society into a world society and from survival to new Michaelic strategy. The result of the collapse of plan A is that the 21st century has no living centre to relate to, it has only periphery to start with. Therefore, Michael’s plan B is to go out from the periphery, not as it should have been as a fulfilment of plan A, connecting a vital centre with world periphery, but as periphery without a centre. According to plan A there should have existed at the end of the 20th century a strong, vital world centre, spiritually and socially active and creative, connected in all directions to powerful impulses in the world at large.
The new Michael movement has no centre, only periphery- but what tremendous new Michaelic powers are working in the periphery, if we open our hearts to them! It must grow out of the periphery and then many centres will be formed everywhere. There is no one centre, but many, no one teacher, but many, and this is valid for all institutions. It is a creative homelessness of the spiritual movement!
Describing a personal moment in this connection of the history of the society at the end of last century, Jesaiah told how he was asked by Dornach to found a Society in Israel at the end of the 80s and be its leader. Jesaiah declined, saying that this would contradict the real demands of the time spirit, described above. He told the authorities that since RS’s death, his seat should have been regarded as the “peerless seat”, as in the round table traditions, allowing free circle, peripheral, free spiritual movement to develop.
As a result of Jesaiah’s refusal to take the central seat, Israel indeed didn’t create new forms- which are possible- but at least is free from the burdens of the existing centralization. At least, and this is not little, we can have an open free association work, which is very alive, thriving and flourishing, with spiritual and human freedom alone deciding what anthroposophists do. Real talent and excellence has a chance to emerge, unique individual contributions are not pushed aside and suppressed, no one tells and decides for others what is “true” anthroposophy according to his centralized power and interests.
Temporary centres arise out of specific needs in the periphery and the best practices that can answer those needs. The centre is alive as long as it acts out of true impulse, and dies out when its time is over. Peripheral centres like these are kept alive by a spiritual reality, and not by outer forms that subsists and are conserved a long time after the real situation and need have expired and changed. In such peripheral centres, a spiritual intention clothes itself with a physical, social and economic body, when it incarnated to do its job, and this body dies when the spiritual intention excarnates, when it has completed its allotted task. If the outer form is maintained after its spiritual function has ceased, there takes place an incarnation of an Ahrimanic being. This is an elementary anthroposophical piece of knowledge. Churches are an obvious historical example. Now RS created spiritual and social forms (bodies), which suited him and the needs of existing spiritual and human conditions, and these forms and bodies should have died and been utterly transformed after he died. Both Marie Steiner and Albert Steffen had an inkling of this in connection with the society and High School substance and forms, immediately after RS’s death, but the spirit of fear hindered them from doing what they knew clearly was the right thing to do.
Now tremendous new Michaelic impulses begin to flow and are increasing daily in the periphery. The future spiritual and social movement is beginning to form in so many places, and we all are called to be its planners, doers, and co-workers. Also here in Sweden there are promising new seeds and sprouts. Let human beings hear this!
Jaerna Bridge - Järnabron antroposofi.org
Published by The Jaerna Bridge 12 April 2004, minor corrections 28 April.