From four parts of the world, Libertad Aguilar from Colombia, Rosalinda Maglana from the Philippines, Adam Banning from the USA, and Hana Adamcova from the Czech Republic combined their reflections on Rudolf Steiner’s Foundation Stone Meditation. A mythical moment at the Annual Medical Conference. They called upon the human soul and the soul of the world could be felt. This is also part of the pandemic: it affects the whole of humanity and so humanity awakens to itself.
• Guten Tag, Buenos Dias, Greetings from Colombia from Libertad Aguilar. I am in a jungle in Colombia, where the Tahamias lived. I would like to describe my own reflections on how the first part of Rudolf Steiner’s Foundation Stone Meditation can be combined with the way in which the indigenous peoples of Colombia and all of Latin America connected themselves with nature and its cosmic forces – how the ‹spirit rememberance› happened through the will and still happens today. Language is an embodiment of these spiritual powers.
You live in this body,
which carries you through the world of space
Into the spiritual being of the sea
Ube Spirit Remembrance
In the depth of the soul,
Remembering in the deepest sense means going through the heart again and letting its throbbing be united with the living memory of the world. Remembering is the act of feeling part of the one moment of the embrace of Heaven and Earth. Remind yourself through the drum that our heartbeat is united with the beat of Mother Earth. To remember means to listen attentively to the mystery of the cosmos, which dictates the divine order and its mysteries to Mother Earth, which protects them alive and in harmony in her apparent chaos. Here, in the presence of Mother Earth, I create a void that I can remember in silence, thus listening to the sweet and divine Word that wants to inhabit the root of trees and at the same time connect with my feet. I ask for permission for the creative word, for this spiritual power, so that it may manifest itself in me. I greet the heart of the cosmos, the heart of Mother Earth, the heart of water, the heart of the wind, the heart of fire. I ask my ancestors, who guide and support me, for permission to honor their spirit and thank them for being in them. They listen to me and are happy to feel their presence in my movements. I have my soul to receive.
For the Father Spirit of the Heights reigns
Being-creating in the depths of the world:
I remember that my feet and hands know how to listen to the Earth. They know how to guide me and lead the way of ancestral remembrance of grandmother stones, grandmother water, grandfather air, and grandfather fire. My feet and my hands know how to listen to the sounds that form in the roots of the trees, and the trees enthusiastically observe my movement, in which they recognize themselves. Because through dance we remember. Dance as a life-giving movement that recognizes the divine work in the being of the world and makes itself visible in careful and loving actions. So I am invited to dance, to move, to act from this deep connection with the divine power that inhabits the Earth, and they, the divine power and the Earth rejoice to experience themselves through my movements. In the here and now, I remember the question that led me to this body, and I dance to it so as not to feel alone.
Seraphim, Cherubim, Throne,
Let it sound from the heights,
What finds echo in the depths;
Ex Deo nascimur.
This is what the elemental souls hear
In the East, West, North, South:
Human beings want to hear it.
You live in the heart-lung beat,
Which guides you through the rhythm of time
Into your own soul being feeling:
• I’m Rosalinda Maglana, a doctor in the Philippines. A country in Southeast Asia where the sun rises almost every day. Our national anthroposophical medical organization is called LAMP. It wants to give life and healing impulses to the darkness of our time. The collaborative work in the southern part of our country is mainly shaped by my connection with arka, a health center. The name sounds almost like the Filipino word Jaka, which means ‹warm embrace›. When I look at my lifelong work, I remember a patient during my medical education who suffered from cancer and whose request for help touched me deeply. I saw babies seriously ill with mild infections and realized that if the mothers knew what they could do for their own health, the mortality rate would be significantly lowered. If the people here knew what healing resources nature offers, many diseases could be avoided. A few pence in their pockets wouldn’t be useless despite the unaffordable hospital costs. My heart breaks every time I can’t prevent the many illnesses in our hospital just because a patient couldn’t afford the necessary payments. I am constantly witnessing poverty and misery. So I realized: our whole system is sick and calls for healing. Something grew in my soul, a gesture to stand up for the weak, the injured, and the poor. Then I felt the pulse of my own heart. The pulse of my heart reflected my responsibility for more holistic healing, which I could not find in my medical education. The heartbeat called for prevention, education, and care. The heartbeat whispered of passion and responsibility to heal myself, the people, the community, the system, and the Earth.
Ube Spirit Reflections
In the balance of souls,
Where the billowing
Your own self
The I of the World;
And you will truly feel
The beat of my heart has become my path ever since. My work has allowed me to witness the many faces of sickness, darkness, and death. In Asia, where there is so much agriculture, poverty is enormous. Many Asian countries possess raw materials for global production. Extracting them means enormous environmental pollution. This also applies spiritually: the sense of morality and integrity is weakened. This leads to national and international conflicts. We feel in the soul all these consequences of materialism and commercialization. The pandemic shows under a magnifying glass the difficult situation of children, orphans, and other vulnerable populations in Asia. The pandemic became a pandemic of polarization, isolation, control, and persecution. The light in all this uncertainty is shown by the fact that many people are awakening to the problems, social platforms are becoming strong. How can we promote and strengthen this development?
For the will of Christ prevails in the surrounding area.
In the world rhythms soul-blessed.
How can the Sun of Christ rise above the shadow of this darkness? Christ healed, embodied the essence of healing! He has a place in his heart for all the sick and seeks the lost sheep. He sees in every sick person the human being and not a number of a statistic. Christ shows the essence of His healing: to sacrifice oneself and to love unconditionally.
Let it be fueled from the East,
What is shaping through the West;
In Christo morimur.
This is what the elemental souls hear
In the East, West, North, South:
Human beings want to hear it.
If we allow the sick to show their illness, if we accompany him or her in his or her recovery, then we realize that the disease is connected with the inner being and with his or her environment. The internal and external are connected and the human self forms the center. Help when you hear the call for help.
• Adam Banning, USA, Colorado. It was a special experience to work together because we didn’t talk about our ideas. We talked about experiences, and every time we met, the experiences were a little different and we didn’t know what the others would say. If we now look at the third part of the Foundation Stone Meditation, it is called to see the spirit with peace of mind.
You live in your tranquil head,
That for eternity reasons will
Tap into the thought of the world:
Ube Spirit Beholding
I think in North America, especially in the US, it’s not easy. At the same time, there is a great longing for this peace. But there is so much information that comes rushing at us, and many patients, friends, and relatives tell me that they are standing in this strange space in between, where you feel tired and yet attentive. You are very tired and still can not fall asleep, because there is a part in the soul constantly listening. Today, everyone has a cell phone. If you have a question, you will find the answer in your own pocket. One of my daughters is already driving a car. When I asked her where she was going, she said I didn’t have to worry, she had her phone with her. The phone will tell me where to go. That is the reality! During the pandemic, many are working from home on the computer. A professional conference is followed by a conversation with friends, then you check your emails, look at your Facebook page, and watch a nice animal movie that someone shared with us. Then follows a signal that there are new messages. Others use their phone as an alarm clock. Then it lies on the bedside table, and before they go to sleep, they take a quick look to see if there is a message from a friend to read. It is a continuous connection! A connection with information of all kinds: a greeting, a reminder, news about Covid or political unrest, and lots of dangers. This includes the feeling that the information can actually answer everything. Living in the USA means feeling that there are experts for every conceivable thing. When something happens, there is immediately someone who says what to think of it. Sometimes you think they know the answer before something has happened. Then there is the time pressure: As a doctor, there is often only time to decide: Which medication should I prescribe, which test should I order. You know that you can’t solve the whole problem now. There is a growing conviction that a computer can do this better because it has all sorts of information in it. No human being can know that much information. With the pandemic came the online diagnosis, even for me, and some are now saying, «Maybe we should stick with it.»
So there is this exhaustion from the flow of information and the longing for peace. A few months ago, I was talking to a patient. In his childhood, his mother told him when he left the house: «Don’t do anything too dangerous!» That almost drove him crazy. He constantly wondered where something ‹too› dangerous could be here. I think there are a lot of people in North America who don’t want to do anything ‹too dangerous›. What does this have to do with peace of mind?
When I started my medical degree, the dean of the university visited us on the first day. He greeted us and said we were wonderful human beings with inspiration. «I know that some people experience burnout at the end of their studies, but we want to change that. We make sure that you keep your humanity.» Then he said something that shocked me: «In the next four years, 50 percent of what we teach you will turn out to be wrong. But we don’t know which 50 percent.» Over time, I found that quite irritating, especially because you had to learn so much by heart. Because the information is constantly increasing, our current knowledge is incomplete and therefore incorrect. That’s what he meant and he was right. But it’s not just about information being added, we simply have to omit other information.
When I took off from Colorada for this conference, I took a night flight, so I could still work during the day. As usual, a difficult patient came to my practice shortly before the trip. It was a woman I had known for a long time. She had become a mother and had lost a lot of weight, so I asked her to come to the office. We talked, she told about her stress in the family, about depression, anxiety, eating disorders, maybe autism. Someone said she may have a personality disorder. Something interesting happened, comparable to a special smell, it is in the vicinity. I suddenly asked, «How old are you?» «I turned 28 the day before yesterday.» That was it! She was in a biographical transformation in which something new wanted to come. She was looking for a new truth. In such a situation, you usually have to decide something uncertain, uncomfortable, illogical, but full of truth. «Maybe it’s time for new thoughts», we asked ourselves together. After the conversation for which there was just enough time, she said: «Now I have some hope.» This moment that we both felt, something new must come, this moment fills this spirit-beholding in thought-peace.
There is little culture in the U.S. to let go of anything. It’s always about getting richer, smarter, having more friends. But to allow a process in which you should let something go so that something new can come is quite foreign to us. This is the spirit-beholding, in thought-peace, which is worth practicing.
• When I, Hana Adamcova, hear the first seven lines of the last verse, I am filled with hope.
In times of change
The Worlds Spirit Light entered
Into the earthly stream of beings;
Illuminated in human souls;
These words sound like a fairy tale to me. Evil has been overcome, good has triumphed, and everything is good again. As I thought about where I knew a similar experience of this hope, I remembered my childhood. Every Sunday at one o’clock in the afternoon I sat with my ear on the radio and listened to one of the fairy tales that were broadcast every Sunday on Czech radio at that time. It was an hour full of excitement and anticipation. Will the princess be saved? Can the hero conquer the dark forest? Will the evil witches leave their black magic behind? The triumph of good was a joyful moment. My heart was dancing. Hope that the light will conquer the darkness and end its rule.
The second memory of such hope comes from my school days. It was 1989 and the country, then Czechoslovakia, was going through a change. For many people, it was a turning point. Communism could be overcome gently and peacefully and the country moved towards democracy. The atmosphere was incredible. Within days, a touch of freedom connected all generations. After the dark times of the communist regime, a new light shone! There was hope within the entire country that united the population in a sense of harmony. We understood each other without words.
Illuminated in human souls;
When the enthusiasm of the first few months was over and we began to rebuild our country, it became clear that hope alone is not enough. It was as if the light was not shining in us, but in front of us, like a star. And as soon as the light stopped carrying us, human hearts stopped understanding each other. Just as the sun sets in the evening and the earth gets cold when hope runs out, our hearts remain empty, desolate and our minds confused. In order to make good decisions and understand our world, the light must come to our minds. In order for us to have compassion for others and cultivate our relationships, it must warm our hearts. This does not happen by itself. The light enters into every soul that will allow it. Otherwise, the evangelist would not have written: «And the light shone into the darkness, but the darkness did not understand it.» For the light to illuminate our minds, we must become kings. In order for it to warm our hearts, we must become shepherds.
The poor shepherds’ hearts;
The wise kings.
What does it mean to be king, to be a shepherd? The king, the queen, is the person who seeks the truth and is willing to make decisions and take responsibility for them. Who is prepared to do so, even where there are common interests and therefore no one wants to take responsibility? And the shepherd is the person who is interested in others and does something for their well-being and does not abandon them, even when wolves are around. In this way, we allow the light to work within us. It will radiate out of us and help us to perceive ourselves and others and take care of the world. They are well-known thoughts that may therefore seem simple. What is familiar and simple may almost seem banal. It stops being trivial when we ask ourselves to what extent we are successful. Will I be able to find peace in my heart through clear thinking and through the power of compassion? Can I be understanding and patient with my surroundings? Are my actions useful and meaningful in the world? To what extent are they good? Every one of us is on the way to giving the light a home. Therefore, our enlightened thinking will match sufficiently. Our warmed feeling will perceive the meaning of such thoughts and want to carry them out into the world. Then our deeds will be bright and good.
Sun of Christ,
That it will be good,
Shaped from the heart,
Want to guide from our minds
For me, the essence of the Foundation Stone Meditation now also includes healing eurythmic:
Hoffnung, hope, espérance, naděje, speranza
Liebe, love, l’amour, láska, amore
Glaube, faith, foi, víra, fede
From the Annual Medical Conference ‹The Responsibility of Medicine for Man and Nature› from September 14 to 19, 2021, partly from English, translation: Wolfgang Held
Just as one grasps the prevailing love of the world in the effect of moving oneself, so one will grasp the archetypes of being a world, when one feels in oneself the mysterious transition between the rhythm of the world and the rhythm of the heart and through this, in turn, the human rhythm, which mysteriously takes place emotionally and spiritually between the lungs and the heart. And if human beings will feel in the right way what is revealed in this mind system, which rests on their shoulders, even if they leave, then they will, feeling in this mind system, pour out the warmth of heart into this mind system, the prevailing, acting, weaving world thoughts in their own essence.
From: Rudolf Steiner, The Christmas Conference to Establish the General Anthroposophical Society, 1923/1924. GA 260, Dornach 1994, S. 62ff