Bedoeld is: antroposofie in de media. Maar ook: in de persbak van de wijngaard, met voeten getreden. Want antroposofie verwacht uitgewrongen te worden om tot haar werkelijke vrucht door te dringen. Deze weblog proeft de in de media verschijnende antroposofie op haar, veelal heerlijke, smaak, maar laat problemen en controverses niet onbesproken.

donderdag 3 februari 2011

Daniel Dunlop


Daar is hij dan, gedeeltelijk in de steigers: de Sainte-Chapelle.

Veel tekst vandaag. We beginnen dicht bij huis. Ruud Thelosen schreef eergisteren op zijn weblog ‘Sociale Driegeleding’ over ‘Een decennium Kleisterlee’:
‘Binnenkort neemt Gerard Kleisterlee afscheid als president-directeur bij Philips. Hij was de opvolger van Cor Boonstra die in 2000 in opspraak raakte vanwege een tweetal rechtzaken voor aandelenhandel met voorkennis. Boonstra had, als commissaris bij Ahold, gehandeld in aandelen Ahold zonder dit te melden. Dat leverde uiteindelijk een veroordeling en boete op van € 135.000. Dat is natuurlijk een schijntje gezien zijn geschatte vermogen van € 90 miljoen.

In een andere rechtzaak ging het om aandelen Endemol die Boonstra op een cruciaal moment verhandelde kort voordat bekend werd dat Endemol overgenomen zou worden door het Spaanse Telefónica. Hij zou deze informatie gekregen hebben van zijn toenmalige vriendin Sylvia Tóth, die commissaris was bij Endemol. Hieraan heeft hij enkele honderdduizenden euro’s verdiend. In de rechtszaken (ook hoger beroep) kwam het echter niet tot een veroordeling vanwege een gebrek aan bewijs. Natuurlijk zijn er geen notulen of bandopnamen van privégesprekken. Feitelijk had Boonstra wel veroordeeld moeten worden, want er was gerede twijfel. Bij een topman, met een voorbeeldfunctie, hoort onbesproken gedrag de norm te zijn!

Boonstra was ooit de medeoprichter van de SRV (inderdaad, de rijdende kruidenier). Een typische kruidenier let vooral op de kleintjes en in dit geval vooral zijn eigen financiële voordeeltjes. Daarna maakte Boonstra carrière bij Sara Lee en werd door Jan Timmer naar Philips gehaald, waar hij tot 2001 president-directeur is geweest. Philips had een imagoprobleem en Boonstra moest dit oppoetsen met een nieuwe PR-campagne. Zo bedacht hij de slogan: “Let’s make things better”!

Het is wonderlijk hoe een kruidenier met een commerciële neus een high-tech bedrijf als Philips kan runnen. Een bekende uitspraak van Boonstra was dat hij het als zijn taak zag om “het bord met spaghetti (= Philips) te ontwarren”. In de vijf jaar als bestuursvoorzitter heeft Boonstra wel de beurswaarde van het Philipsaandeel kunnen vervijfvoudigen, iets wat Kleisterlee helemaal niet is gelukt.

Kleisterlee heeft sinds 1974 bij Philips gewerkt en dus een lange staat van dienst met 37 dienstjaren. Hij heeft ook een technische achtergrond met afgeronde studie Elektrotechniek bij TU/e.

De NRC heeft zaterdag 29 januari 2011 in een artikel de bedrijfscijfers, gedurende die tien jaar dat Kleisterlee president-directeur was, op een rijtje gezet. De omzet daalde in tien jaar tijd met ruim 20% tot € 24,4 miljard, de beurswaarde halveerde bijna tot € 22,8 miljard. Alleen de winstcijfers laten een groei zien van een verlies van € 2,5 miljard in 2001 tot € 1,5 miljard winst in 2010. Dat is echter geen topprestatie als je daarbij bedenkt dat Kleisterlee in die tijd wel het personeelsbestand heeft afgeslankt met bijna 40% tot 119.000 werknemers.

Natuurlijk heeft Kleisterlee ze niet allemaal ontslagen, maar heeft hij veel Philips-onderdelen afgestoten of verkocht. Toen Kleisterlee begon in 2001 waren er nog ruim zes divisies en die zijn inmiddels teruggebracht naar drie, te weten healthcare, consumer lifestyle en lighting. Door de verkoop van bedrijfsonderdelen boek je eenmalig een flinke winst en als je daarnaast nog bezuinigd op de personeelslasten doordat je veel minder werknemers hebt, is dat geen topprestatie.

De beloning van Kleisterlee over die tien jaar is wel heel riant geweest. Volgens het NRC ging het om € 25 miljoen in tien jaar, waarvan 10 miljoen als salaris en de rest als bonussen (€ 8,4 miljoen), onkosten (?), verzilverde opties en aandelen in portefeuille. Kleisterlee heeft er ook voor gezorgd dat ondanks de daling van de beurskoers de aandeelhouders (waaronder hijzelf) niet tekort kwamen. Hij verdubbelde het dividend in tien jaar tijd!

De NRC redacteur kwalificeerde Kleisterlee als een stevige verbouwer die de organisatie flink heeft gestroomlijnd. Het stroomlijnen, afslanken en kleiner maken van een organisatie of kortweg saneren lijkt mij echter geen topprestatie! De Raad van Commissarissen gaat echter over het toekennen van prestatiebonussen en volgens hun criteria heeft Kleisterlee kennelijk de bonussen wel verdiend. Groei, aandeelhouderswaarde en rentabiliteit waren kennelijk geen prestatievereisten. In een “old boys network” gun je elkaar tenminste wat!

Het Philips van tegenwoordig lijkt in weinig meer op de sociale onderneming van de vorige eeuw. Toen zorgde Philips behalve voor werk en arbeidsvoorwaarden ook voor huisvesting, gezondheidszorg, verzekeringen, sportvoorzieningen en zelfs studiebeurzen voor kinderen van medewerkers. Nu lijkt het motto alleen nog maar “lean” en dus ook “mean”!’
Van Eindhoven gaan we naar Engeland, naar de website ‘The Present Age’, waar eergisteren een heel ander verhaal werd geplaatst, namelijk An Appreciation of D.N. Dunlop’:
‘The very first article W.J. Stein wrote for the first issue of his journal “The Present Age” was on Daniel Nicol Dunlop (D.N.D.). Originally published in December 1935, “An appreciation of D.N. Dunlop” is republished on our website because in a real sense this article traces the journal’s origins back to its roots: D.N.D. As W.J. Stein explains in the first paragraph: “The origin of this journal was Mr. D.N. Dunlops idea, and the title “The Present Age” was his choice. He wanted me to create this journal and he hoped to write the introductory article.”

To contextualize and complement W.J. Stein’s article, we would like to note a few aspects of D.N.D.’s being that seem relevant for today. All aspects appear to be the consequence of a universal and highly independent personality, grounded in the realities of daily life.

D.N.D.’s far-sighted impulse of the first World Power Conference in 1924 – which still exists today as the World Energy Council – shows, among other things, how he managed to meaningfully connect with humans that are not in any way connected with Anthroposophy. He seemed to be able to go beyond the institution and name Anthroposophy, while at the same time nobody would have difficulties arguing that he truly lived anthroposophy in a most eminent way.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that at this conference he united about 2000 delegates from 40 different countries, including from Russia and Germany. It seems that with this conference, D.N.D. was able to temporarily paralyze prevailing but dangerously narrow-minded political ideologies, usually some form of nationalism, which would prove fatal only a few years later. Instead, he united the universal interests of humanity on energy production and technology by bringing together scientists and engineers to share information and foster collaboration. It seems to us that this event is inherently based on the idea that political ideology or economic interests should not hamper individual (scientific) contributions towards the progress of humanity.

Another aspect we would like to emphasize briefly is his ability to detect and foster the best in people. Eleanor C. Merry, a close friend of his, describes his method as helping people to “stand on their own feet.” This method was revealed in little remarks, in seemingly trivial incidents, and so on, which with hindsight turned out to be significant occurrences for those in question.

A third aspect was his ability to exemplify and contextualize certain ideas with practical experience, thereby grounding them. Usually after a lecture on spiritual content, D.N.D. would give a summary by adding daily-life examples, in a sense making the content much more graspable. One can imagine that this ability of giving ideas a “reality-check” also helped him in no insignificant way to organize the World Power Conference.

As can be sensed from these few examples, his being was universal, but not divorced from reality. D.N.D. and his impulses are transcending beyond Anthroposophy vs. non-Anthroposophy, transcending beyond different political ideologies. At the same time, he was extremely skillful in day-to-day affairs. The World Power Conference is one; his general ability to summarize and ground hovering ideas is another example. Both are qualities that, in the opinion of the authors, will prove inevitable in the next decades, especially for those that will have some decision-making power in the realm of politics or the economy.

Please find W.J. Stein’s article here.

Note #1: If any of our readers has and would like to share with us Dunlop’s “British Destiny” we would be grateful. Our email address is editorspresentage@gmail.com.

Note #2: It should be clear that our introduction is no attempt in being an exhaustive or complete description. We beg the reader for indulgence as we can only try to highlight some aspects of such a rich and important life. We also warmly invite your contributions in the form of comments. An excellent biography of D.N.D. is provided by Thomas Meyer’s D.N. Dunlop A Man of our Time, published by Temple Lodge.’
Aan ‘The Present Age’ besteedde ik op 3 november 2010 aandacht in het bericht ‘Walter Johannes Stein’. Het is sindsdien niet duidelijker geworden wie deze website nu eigenlijk beheert en ook de toegankelijkheid van de verschillende teksten en documenten is niet verbeterd; verslechterd eigenlijk, om eerlijk te zijn. Maar dat neemt allemaal niet weg dat dit een bijzonder interessante tekst is, die hier wordt gepubliceerd, afkomstig uit The Present Age. Vol. 1, December 1935. No. 1. Hij is een beetje lang, maar zeer de moeite waard, ook door de persoonlijke toets van de auteur:
‘An appreciation of D.N. Dunlop
by
W. J. Stein

The origin of this journal was Mr. D.N. Dunlops idea, and the title “The Present Age” was his choice. He wanted me to create this journal and he hoped to write the introductory article. The day before his last illness started, he intended to meet me and a friend of mine, in order to make the preliminary arrangements, but he did not come at the time he arranged, and when I went to see why he did not come I found him already ill. The last thoughts which he communicated to me before he passed away on Ascension Day, 1935, were dedicated to this journal, and it became an absolute duty for me to overcome every difficulty in creating it. So this will explain why we start this journal by bringing him into remembrance.

Daniel Nicol Dunlop was born in the Christmas season, on the 28th December, 1868, in Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire. His father was an architect and a Quaker, and in this connection he did some work in religious education. Mr. Dunlops mother died when she was twenty-six, and the little boy was only five. The mother was born in Arran. Mr. Dunlop told me that his only memory of her was a little cave on the beach that was shown to him where he was told that his mother had often sat deep in thought, looking at the waves. He often came to sit in this cave and gaze on the sea and think about his mother whom he so much missed. The great Mother Nature, with the blue mantle in the daytime, and the starry mantle in the night, was ever with him.

One day his father told him that he should read the Bible, beginning with the creation of the world, and finishing up with the Apocalypse, chapter by chapter, day by day. He said that he did not want to do it, but after he had done it he enjoyed it. “And I am doing it still,” he said. He read as much as five chapters daily. When he was nine years old, he had twelve boy friends who used to come from considerable distances to see him on Sundays. Then, standing up on a rock, he would read to them a chapter of the Bible, and explain it to them. He said to me, in referring to it: “I have no idea what I told them, but on looking back I know that I grew enthusiastic and then my voice took on the tones of song.” He told me all these details and many others in the Summer School at Westonbirt, Monday, 27th August, 1934, when I asked him to tell me the story of his life.

He said: “It is not that I have forgotten now what I said in my preaching, but immediately after I had given this oration, I was so excited that I could not remember what I had said. I remember that I had great difficulty in explaining to these other children the beginning of St. Johns Gospel, because I had to explain to them how the Word could become Flesh, and so I remember that I said, ‘Christ cannot be compared with other human beings, because we cannot say of any others that they are the crystallized Word. So Christ must have been different from all others in this direction.’”

Mr. Dunlops father was an architect working on the mainland, and so the little boy lived with his mothers father at Aran. He had to do all the housework for the grandfather. He used to fish, and cook what he caught, and he learnt to make and mend the nets. He and the grandfather were the only human beings in the neighborhood, so the life was very lonely, and it was mostly on Sundays that he saw other children. One day when he was about ten or eleven years old, it was raining and very stormy and his clothes were very wet, and as evening drew on the storm increased. He and his grandfather were in the little house with no other human being at hand. As he lay in his little bed a great feeling of eeriness crept over him, so he asked his grandfather to allow him to come into his bed. There, in the arms of his grandfather he fell asleep. But that night the old man died, and when the boy awakened he found himself lying in a pool of blood. He was shocked but not frightened. He stood up and stirred the fire, dried his wet clothes in front of it and sat on a little bench in the window looking out to sea. He had fried a herring and began to eat it, and after this little meal he began to think.

He said to me: “I was fully conscious that my grandfather was dead and that I was alone, but I had no feeling of hurry. So I started thinking and my thoughts turned to dreams, and from dreams to visions. I could see myself riding upon a camel and others joined us, and I saw my grandfather, but with another face, on horseback. He was wearing rich white clothes.”

I asked Mr. Dunlop if he were clothed like an Arabian and he said “No, much richer, maybe Egypt.” Then pictures came and changed like a kaleidoscope. He told me one more. He saw himself as a young officer looking up to a much older and very fine looking man, riding beside him through the desert. Then he saw himself as a Grecian youth, leaning against a pillar in white garments and with a golden girdle. He was watching a procession which entered the temple. It was one of the Secret Groves, dedicated to the Cult of the Orphic Mysteries and he felt great sorrow because the woman whom he loved was being taken away from him for initiation in the temple. He felt completely desolate.

He said to me: “I did not then know about Reincarnation. I just had the experience of my previous lives, but I had no theory about such things. Later, when I was eighteen years old, I met in Ireland my beloved friend, George Russell, and he was the first human being to whom I could speak about such things. In this way through him I became conscious of Reincarnation.”

George Russell was known as a poet and philosophical writer, under the pseudonym of “A.E.” I was deeply impressed when I read that shortly after the passing away of Mr. Dunlop, his friend followed him. The Times of the 18th July, 1935, gave an appreciation of George Russell.

Let us return to the little boy sitting by the window and gazing out to sea. After he had finished his dreaming he went away from the house to the other end of the island, where there was a shop and a post-office. He asked the shop-keeper to send a message to his father on the mainland to tell him of his grandfathers death. At first the man would not believe him but as he insisted he consented to send the message. The father came and they buried the old man.

Mr. Dunlop told me: “There was no minister, there were no mourners, no undertakers, no public, only my father, myself and our little horse which drew the carriage. We did it all by ourselves.”

He was about seventeen when he went to the mainland and his father found for him a post in an office in which he worked for very little money. One day an agent from a publishing company appeared, and had an advertisement with him of a “History of the World” appearing in installments. Each installment cost half-a-crown.

Mr. Dunlop said: “Can you imagine what I felt by hearing the words ‘History of the World.’ How wonderful it must be to know all about the history of the whole world, I felt very deeply that I had to have it. But I had no money, so I told the agent that I was very, very sorry that I could not buy it, but the agent said ‘Here you have a little cash, take it. You can pay it back later.’” So he did. And each fortnight he took the necessary two-and sixpence from the cash box, replacing it by an I.O.U. until he was owing his employer ten shillings. Then seeing no way of repaying the “debt,” he informed his employer what he had done. But his employer would not excuse such a thing and so he lost his job and his father refused absolutely to give him the money. Now the boy was on the street without money and a debt of ten shillings. His father never wanted to see him again, so he went down to the harbor and as a ship was in port and loading its cargo he was allowed to stitch up the sacks of merchandise and earned thirty shillings. In the meanwhile he heard that his father had changed his mind and had paid the ten shillings for “The History of the World.” So he paid the ten shillings to his father. His father would not believe that he had earned this money in an honest way, but after a long talk and when he made the whole story clear to him he believed his son and agreed to him having the whole “History of the World.” The next day the boy returned to the harbor and earned a pound and decided to go out into the world to seek his fortune. He put fourteen advertisements in newspapers and got fourteen answers offering fourteen positions. He prayed to God for guidance and decided to go and see all the people who had answered him. He went according to the alphabetical order of their names. Coming to “H” he found his position, but he left it after a few days and went to a Frenchman whose name was Fontaine. There he had to start work at 6 o’clock in the morning. He earned twelve shillings a week and had to pay three for his room. He found a room in a very poor house in East Glasgow, but it was clean and cheap, both essentials. In reality this room belonged to the seafaring son of the woman who had let it to him, and from time to time the son returned and he had to share the room with him. He told me. “I had two candles which I watched very carefully and by their light I read my books. I never could buy a book dearer than two pence, or occasionally three pence.” So after a time he had a library of one, two and three penny books and the “History of the World.” The house was not very comfortable and at the weekend everybody was drunk. But Mr. Fontaine was pleased with his work and after a few weeks gave him three pounds a week.

This was as far as Mr. Dunlop got with his story. We had to break off the conversation and I was only able to ask him a few other things at intervals. And so the rest of this story will be very incomplete. But it may be that this journal will come into the hands of friends of Mr. Dunlop who know more and are able to complete my information, and I should be very grateful for more knowledge.

I will now mention some details which he gave me. In speaking about A.E., George Russell, his Irish friend, he said: “We created together a magazine, ‘The Irish Theosophist,’ and we printed it and even learned to do the illustrations. We had in our bedrooms the printing press, and by taking up colored work we greatly increased our sales.” A.E. had never written a poem before, but for this journal he made his first attempt.

Mr. Dunlop joined the Greek Church as a member about the year 1920. He wished – in this connection – to travel in Russia, and he really started, but unforeseen circumstances intervened and he got no further than Norway. He had already been in contact with the Theosophical Movement. For two years he was the private secretary of Catherine Tingley in California, and he met W. Q. Judge. He arranged a number of summer schools for the Theosophical Society and started at Hale (Cheshire) a Blavatsky Institute which was visited by Mrs. Besant. He told me some details of his time in America. After difficulties in his position in Point Loma, he was very poor and was without occupation. He was already married and had two children. His wife was Eleanor Ossory Fitzpatrick. He told me that one Christmas day he had no money at all, no money for presents to the children, who were then six and eight years old. The third was not yet born. He was specially grieved because on Christmas eve he had not even a meal for them. But just an hour before they should have sat down to their evening meal a stranger appeared, having with him a great Christmas hamper. Everything was there, gifts for the children, the usual turkey, fruit, bread and wine.

He said, “It must be a mistake. We have no friends and nobody knows us.” But the man who brought it said, “No. You are Daniel Nicol Dunlop. And this is your Christmas hamper.” Mr. Dunlop said, telling me this: “It always gave me courage, even many years later, when I thought of this event.”

He also told me about Mr. Thomas Lake Harris, whom he met first in Ireland. He said: “Harris once met Laurence Oliphant in Piccadilly. Harris touched him on the shoulder and said ‘I want to change your life. Try to become the correspondent of The Times in Paris. Go to Paris, but one day a stone will be thrown through your window. Understand this as the sign that you must go immediately to California.’ All this happened. Oliphant found an excellent successor for his work for The Times and left, Paris.” All this Mr. Dunlop told me himself. Mr. Lake Harris was the head of a Spiritual Community, the Brotherhood of a New Life. In connection with this community there was a vegetarian restaurant in Dublin, where a special non-alcoholic wine was sold. Mr. Dunlop and his wife ran this restaurant for six months, but it came to an end when the cook had to leave. In this way Mr. Dunlop had a connection with Harris. After his return from America he had in his possession all the books by Harris, but up to that time he had not read them.

He felt that he should write to Madame Blavatsky, and he told her that he was in possession of all Harriss unpublished manuscripts, but had not started to read them. H. P. Blavatsky answered that he should send all these books back without reading them and after an important decision in which he had to choose between Harris and Blavatsky he decided in a way which was illustrated in a vision. Mr. Dunlop told the content of this vision to me, but I found a description of it written down by George Russell, his friend, under the title, “The Secret of Power” in the journal “The Path” which appeared as a publication of the Blavatsky Institute in Hale, Cheshire, and was edited by Dunlop and Lazenby. Mr. Dunlop told me that this vision appeared not only to him but also to his friend, George Russell, who was present in the same house in the moment of the vision. A.E. (George Russell) writes in Volume I of “The Path,” February, 1911:

“My friend was strangely disturbed, not only were his material affairs unsettled, but he was also passing through a crisis in his spiritual life. Two paths were open before him. On one side lay the dazzling mystery of passion; on the other ‘the small old path’ held out its secret and spiritual allurements. I had hoped that he would choose the latter, and as I was keenly interested in his decision, I invested the struggle going on in his mind with something of universal significance, seeing in it a symbol of the strife between ‘light and darkness which are the worlds eternal ways.’ He came in late one evening. I saw at once by the dim light that there was something strange in his manner. I spoke to him in enquiry; he answered me in a harsh dry voice, quite foreign to his usual manner: ‘Oh, I am not going to trouble myself any more. I will let things take their course.’ This seemed the one idea in his mind, the one thing he understood clearly was, that things were to take their own course; he failed to grasp the significance of any other idea or its relative importance. He answered: ‘Aye, indeed,’ with every appearance of interest and eagerness to some ‘trivial’ remark about the weather, and was quite unconcerned about another and most important matter which should have interested him deeply. I soon saw what had happened; his mind, in which forces so evenly balanced had fought so strenuously, had become, utterly wearied out and could work no longer. A flash of old intuition illuminated at last – it was not wise to strive with such bitterness over life – therefore he said to me in memory of this institution, ‘I am going to let things take their course.’ A larger tribunal would decide. He had appealed unto Caesar. I sent him up to his room and tried to quiet his fever by magnetization with some success. He fell asleep and as I was rather weary myself I retired soon after.

This was the vision of the night. It was surely in the room. I was lying on my bed and yet space opened on every side with pale, clear light. A slight wavering figure caught my eye, a figure that swayed to and fro; I was struck with its utter feebleness, yet I understood it was its own will or some quality of its nature which determined that palpitating movement towards the poles between which it swung. What were they? I became silent as night and thought no more. Two figures awful in their power opposed each other; the frail being wavering between them could, by putting out its arms, have touched them both. I alone wavered, for they were silent, resolute and knit in the conflict of will; they stirred not a hand nor a foot; there was only a still quivering now and then as of intense effort, but they made no other movement. Their heads were bent forward slightly, their arms folded, their bodies straight, rigid and inclined slightly backwards from each other like two spokes of a gigantic wheel. What were they, these figures? I knew not and yet gazing upon them, thought which took no words to clothe itself mutely read their meaning. Here were the culminations of the human, towering images of the good and evil men may aspire to. I looked at the face of the evil adept. His bright red-brown eyes burned with a strange radiance of power; I felt an answering emotion of pride, of personal intoxication, of physic richness rise up within me gazing upon him. His face was archetypal; the abstract passion which eluded me in the features of many people, I knew was here declared, exultant, defiant, gigantesque; it seemed to leap like fire, to be free. In this face I was close to the legendary past, to the hopeless worlds where men were martyred by stony Kings, where prayer was hopeless, where pity was none. I traced a resemblance to many of the great destroyers in history whose features have been preserved, Napoleon, Rameses, and a hundred others, named and nameless, the long line of those who were crowned and sceptred in cruelty. His strength was in human weakness. I saw this, for space and the hearts of men were bare before me. Out of space there flowed to him a stream, half invisible, of red; it nourished that rich radiant energy of passion. It flowed from men as they walked and brooded in loneliness, or as they tossed in sleep. I withdrew my gaze from this face which awoke in me a lurid sense of accompaniment, and turned it on the other.

An aura, pale soft blue was around this figure through which gleamed an underlight as of universal gold. The vision was already dim and departing, but I caught a glimpse of a face god-like in its calm, terrible in the beauty of a life we know only in dreams, with strength which is the end of the heros toil, which belongs to the many times martyred soul; yet not far away nor in the past was its power, it was the might of life which lives externally. I understood how easy it would have been for this one to have ended the conflict, to have gained a material victory by its power, but this would not have touched on or furthered its spiritual ends. Only its real being had force to attract that real being, which was shrouded in the wavering figure... This figure, wavering between the two, moved forward and touched with its hand the Son of Light. All at once the scene and actors vanished, and the eye that saw them was closed. I was alone with darkness and a hurricane of thoughts... For the rest the vision of that night was prophetic and the feet of my friend are now set on that way which was the innermost impulse of his soul.”

This is the story as given by George Russell. Mr. Dunlop described this vision to me and even many years afterwards, speaking about it, I could see how intensely alive both these figures had been. He described two beings, the red one in red clothing and red light: and the blue one in blue clothes and blue light, both very beautiful and impressive, and the voice sounded and asked him to choose between them, and he said, “I decided for the blue, and it was a great decision, as I felt. The red disappeared at first, and only afterwards the blue, and then an old wise man appeared and began to teach me.”

In 1896 Mr. Dunlop joined the American Westinghouse Electrical Company. In 1899 he was appointed assistant manager of the European publicity department of the Westinghouse Company, and moved to London. When I asked him how he first came in contact with electricity, he answered, “I had to write articles. I remember I had to write sixteen articles about the different uses of electricity for TheWorld Exhibition in Paris. One was on the use of electricity in agriculture.” These articles were well received and translated into French, thus bringing him into contact with the Westinghouse Electrical Company. I asked him whether he had ever had anything to do with electricity before. He said “No. Only with mechanical engines like bicycles and agricultural machines.” So it is interesting that he came into contact with this branch of human activity by writing about it. In 1902 he became manager of the Westinghouse Company. In 1911 he resigned from the British Westinghouse Company and became the first organizing secretary of the British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers Association (B.E.A.M.A.). In 1917 he became Director and held this position up to his death. He was active in founding the Electrical Research Association and the Electrical Development Association. Recently he was elected Chairman of the Electrical Fair Trading Council.

Mr. Dunlop wrote several books about Theosophical problems, and published a journal “The Path.” His writings showed that he was an experienced organizer who knew that organization was based on spiritual impulses.

Very interesting was his description to me of his meeting with Rudolf Steiner. Before he personally met Rudolf Steiner he had seen him at one of the Theosophical Societies Convention Meetings about the year 1906. Rudolf Steiners personality immediately made a great impression upon him, but as his books and lectures were not to be had in England then, it was some time before Mr. Dunlop recognized in Rudolf Steiner the teacher for whom he had been looking. Partly because of this he from then on held back from the Theosophical Society, thereby incurring the disapproval of both Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater. The opportunity for direct contact with Rudolf Steiner came some time later.’
En hier stopt het zomaar. Jammer! Opmerkelijk dat het deze maand dus precies een eeuw geleden is dat dat artikel van George Russell in The Path verscheen. Door de beheerders van de website ‘The Present Age’ werd in de inleiding naar ‘An excellent biography of D.N.D. is provided by Thomas Meyer’s D.N. Dunlop A Man of our Time’ verwezen. Dat is de vertaling van dit Duitse origineel:
‘D.N. Dunlop
Ein Zeit- und Lebensbild
Mit einem Nachwort von Owen Barfield

D.N. Dunlop (1868–1935), Freund von u.a. W. B. Yeats, Rudolf Steiner, Ita Wegman und Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, begründete 1924 die «World Power Conference», die noch heute als «World Energy Congress» existiert; er rief die theosophischen Sommerschulen ins Leben und spielte eine führende Rolle in der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft Englands. Dunlop kann als Inspirator einer Weltwirtschaft des 21. Jahrhunderts wie auch wahrhaft freier Gemeinschaftsbildungen betrachtet werden.

2. erw. Auflage,
480 S., brosch., Fr. 47.– / Euro 27.50
ISBN 978-3-907564-22-6

«Trägt der Inhalt eines Buches, wenn auch nur in kleinstem Maße, zur Evolution des menschlichen Bewusstseins bei? “D.N. Dunlop – Ein Zeit- und Lebensbild” besteht in meinen Augen diesen Test brillant.»
Owen Barfield’
Op deze website is ook het maandblad ‘Der Europäer’ te vinden en oude artikelen daaruit. Daaronder ook ‘Daniel Nicol Dunlop (1868–1935) – ein «nach weiten Zielen schauender Anthroposoph»’ van Thomas Meyer uit ‘Der Europäer Jg. 7 / Nr. 6 / April 2003’:
‘Die folgende Porträtskizze wurde von mir für das in diesem Jahr erscheinende und von Bodo von Plato herausgegebene Biografien-Buch verfasst. Sie wurde etwas länger als vereinbart und musste für diesen Sammelband leicht gekürzt werden. Sie erscheint im Europäer in ungekürzter Form. (Alle Zitate aus: D.N. Dunlop – Ein Zeit- und Lebensbild, 2. Aufl. Basel 1996.) In kommenden Nummern werden Porträtskizzen über E.C. Merry, Astrid Bethusy-Huc, Helmuth und Eliza von Moltke zum Abdruck kommen.

Daniel Nicol Dunlop wurde am 28. Dezember 1868 in Kilmarnock, Schottland, als einziges Kind von Catherine und Alexander Dunlop, geboren. Der Vater war Architekt und überzeugter Quäker, der leidenschaftlich predigte. Nach dem Tod der erst 26jährigen Mutter im Jahre 1873 (?) wuchs Daniel im Hause des Großvaters mütterlicherseits auf der an keltischen Steinkreisen reichen Insel Arran auf. Daniel Nicol – so der Vor- und Nachname des Großvaters – war ein gälisch sprechender Fischer. So lernte der kleine Daniel früh fischen, Netze herstellen oder reparieren. Bald nach dem Tod der Mutter begann er auf Geheiß des Vaters mit einer täglichen Bibellektüre, was er das ganze Leben beibehielt. Mit neun Jahren klärte er einen Kreis von zwölf Freunden an Sonntagen über den mit keinem anderen Menschen vergleichbaren Christus auf, den er als «kristallisiertes Wort» bezeichnete. Im Sommer 1882 – Daniel stand im 14. Lebensjahr – starb eines Nachts unerwartet der Großvater, dessen Bett der Enkel teilte. Das furchtlos durchlebte Ereignis öffnete dem jungen Mann das erste Tor bewusster spiritueller Erlebnisse: In einer inneren Schau sah er den Großvater und sich in anderer Gestalt, in anderen Erdenleben. Szenen aus Ägypten und dem orphischen Griechenland zogen an ihm vorüber. «Damals bin ich erwacht», sagte er später. «Ich hatte eine Art Vision von der Zukunft, alle meine Ideen gehen darauf zurück.»

Nach der Übersiedlung auf das Festland und einer Lehrzeit in einer Maschinenfabrik in Ardrossan kam es wegen dessen autoritärer Natur zu einem Bruch mit dem Vater. Der 17jährige fand in Glasgow eine Stelle bei einem Fahrradhändler und vertiefte sich nachts in historische, philosophische und okkultistische Literatur. 1887 begegnete Dunlop bei einem Besuch in Irland seinem Lebensfreund George William Russell, der als «AE» – vom gnostischen Wort Aeon – zahlreiche Werke poetischen und visionären Inhalts schrieb und auch malte. Zwei Jahre später übersiedelte Dunlop nach Dublin, wo er als Wein- und Teehändler arbeitete. Es bildete sich ein Freundeskreis, zu dem auch W.B. Yeats gehörte, in dem die Werke H.P. Blavatskys und Mabel Collins’ studiert wurden. Bei einem Dantevortrag lernte er Eleanor Fitzpatrick kennen und lieben. Doch sollte ein unabhängiger Theosoph heiraten? In einem nächtlichen Schauerlebnis erscheint nach hartem Kampf widerstreitender Mächte auf dem inneren Seelenschauplatz das Gesicht eines alten, weisen Mannes, «der mich zu lehren begann». Der 1891 geschlossenen Ehe mit Eleanor entsprossen zwei Töchter und ein Sohn. Gemeinsam mit Russell gab Dunlop zwischen 1892 und 1897 die theosophische Zeitschrift The Irish Theosophist heraus.

Im Herbst 1897 übersiedelte die Familie nach New York. Dunlop setzte sich in Wort und Tat weiterhin für die theosophische Sache ein; er betätigte sich eine Weile als Privatsekretär der charismatischen Catherine Tingley. Er machte die für ihn bedeutsame Bekanntschaft des Okkultisten H.W. Percival, der alt-westliche kosmologische Kenntnisse besaß. Nach einer Beschäftigung bei der Maschinenfabrik Pierce & Miller wurde er 1899 zum europäischen Verkaufsleiter der Firma Westinghouse ernannt. Bald darauf zog die Familie nach London.

Hier lernte er durch Vermittlung von Yeats 1903 James Joyce kennen. Er schrieb Artikel für die Theosophical Review und sah 1905 oder 1906 auf einem theosophischen Kongress erstmals das Antlitz Rudolf Steiners, das «einen unvergesslichen Eindruck» machte. 1909 kündete Dunlop im Vahan, dem offiziellen Organ der Theosophischen Gesellschaft, die Idee von Sommerschulen an, deren erste noch im gleichen Jahr stattfand. Im folgenden Jahr eröffnete er bei Manchester das Blavatsky-Institute, dem auch Annie Besant einen Besuch abstattete. Zusammen mit Charles Lazenby gab er die Monatsschrift The Path heraus, die bedeutende Artikel aus seiner Feder über praktische Magie, über den Tierkreis, die Funktion des Denkens oder zu christologischen Themen publizierte. Um die gleiche Zeit begründete er den britischen Wirtschaftsverband British Electrical And Allied Manufacturer’s Association (BEAMA). Im Jahre 1912 forderte Dunlop Alfons Baron Walleen, einen langjährigen Schüler Rudolf Steiners. dazu auf, in der von ihm präsidierten Light-On-The-Path-Loge Vorträge über Steiners Christus- Auffassung zu halten – zu einem Zeitpunkt, in dem der von Dunlop abgelehnte Krishnamurti-Humbug seinem Höhepunkt zusteuerte. Dunlop war kein Mensch jäher geistiger Richtungswechsel, aber er ließ Steiner über Walleen wissen, dass man in England bereit sei, «seine Lehre mit offenen Armen aufzunehmen». Mitten im Krieg veröffentlichte er die völkerpsychologische Studie British Destiny; im gleichen Jahr publizierte er ein Buch über spirituelle Entwicklung mit dem Titel The Path of Attainment. Die simultane Veröffentlichung dieser beiden Schriften zeigt, dass Dunlop die Betrachtung großer Zeitfragen und die Frage der spirituellen Entwicklung des einzelnen als zwei Seiten einer Medaille betrachtete. 1919 erschien The Science of Immortality, in dem sich erstmals ein Hinweis auf Steiner befindet, und zwar auf dessen Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss. Im Dezember 1920 wurde Dunlop Mitglied der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft, zunächst ohne aus der Theosophischen Gesellschaft auszutreten; Bürge war der langjährige Schüler Steiners und Übersetzer Harry Collison. In der von Dunlop geleiteten anthroposophischen Human Freedom Group begegnete er im Januar 1922 Eleanor C. Merry, der er bis zu seinem Tod verbunden blieb.

Die erste persönliche Begegnung mit Rudolf Steiner ereignete sich im Frühjahr 1922 in London. Rudolf Steiner ergreift, während Josef van Leer zu dolmetschen suchte, im Schutz des seitlich herabhängenden Tischtuchs Dunlops Hand, um sie minutenlang festzuhalten. Dunlop, der seit seiner ersten bewussten Beschäftigung mit Okkultismus den Wunsch gehegt hatte, einen wahren Eingeweihten im physischen Leib kennenzulernen, schrieb später: «Die erste Begegnung brachte die unmittelbare Erkenntnis: Hier ist der Wissende, der Eingeweihte, derjenige, der den Geist in seine Zeit hineinträgt. » Kurz nach dieser Begegnung trat er am Todestag der von ihm nach wie vor verehrten H.P. Blavatsky aus der Theosophischen Gesellschaft aus. Im Herbst darauf schlug er Steiner zur Stärkung des Impulses des Zentral-Anthroposophischen die Idee von anthroposophischen Sommerschulen sowie einer Reihe von öffentlichen Kongressen in den großen Metropolen der Welt vor. So kam es durch seine Initiative unter Mithilfe von Eleanor Merry zunächst zu den Sommerschulen von Penmaenmawr (1923) und Torquay (1924). Über die Veranstaltung von Penmaenmawr, die das Thema Initiations-Erkenntnis zum Gegenstand hatte, sagte Rudolf Steiner im Rückblick: «In außerordentlich tatkräftiger und innerlich einsichtiger, ich möchte sagen, esoterischer Art hat Mr. Dunlop gerade diese Sommerschule (...) in die Hand genommen. War doch in Penmaenmawr von vornherein erfüllt, was wir sonst niemals erfüllt gesehen haben.»

Im September 1923 wurde Harry Collison auf Vorschlag von englischen Mitgliedern – Rudolf Steiner selbst hätte nach Ita Wegman Dunlop dafür vorgeschlagen – zum Generalsekretär der britischen Landesgesellschaft gewählt. Dunlop traf bereits Vorbereitungen für die im Juli 1924 durch den Prince of Wales eröffnete erste World Power Conference vor, der ersten internationalen Konferenz nach dem Krieg, an der auch Deutschland teilnahm. So fuhr er am Ende des Jahres 1923 nicht nach Dornach, wo die Anthroposophische Gesellschaft als «Allgemeine» neu begründet werden sollte (AAG), wobei sich Rudolf Steiner, der kein Mitglied der alten Gesellschaft gewesen war, angesichts von deren internen Schwierigkeiten dazu entschlossen hatte, in der neu zu bildenden sogar den Vorsitz zu übernehmen. Dunlop sah Steiner in Torquay und darauf in London wieder. In ähnlicher Art wie das Jahr zuvor äußerte sich Steiner auch über die Sommerschule von Torquay; und über beide Kurse sagte er: Sie «waren so veranstaltet, dass man sich okkult angeheimelt fühlen konnte.» Er sprach von ihnen als von «etwas, das in das Goldene Buch der anthroposophischen Bewegung wird in besonderer Weise eingeschrieben werden können.» Dunlop bezeichnete er dabei als einen «feinfühligen, nach weiten Zielen schauenden Anthroposophen». Beim Abschied in London im August 1924 sagte ihm Rudolf Steiner: «Wir sind Brüder.»

D.N. Dunlop setzte sich nach Steiners Tod in neuer Art für die Ausbreitung der Geisteswissenschaft insbesondere im Westen ein. «Anthroposophie hat ein neues Organ in mir gebildet», sagte er und meinte damit, dass seine eigene Schreib- und Vortragstätigkeit in den Hintergrund treten müsse und seine Hauptaufgabe nun darin bestehe, andere auf den richtigen Platz zu bringen. Er sorgte für die englische Übersetzung des von Rudolf Steiner und Ita Wegman gemeinsam verfassten medizinischen Buches; er organisierte 1927 eine weitere Sommerschule in Schottland, 1928 die erste große anthroposophische Weltkonferenz in London.

Er war zahlreichen Menschen behilflich, in England zu wirken oder Fuß zu fassen, so Willem Zeylmans van Emmichoven, Eugen Kolisko, Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, Karl König, Fried Geuter, Alexander Mier (später Mirbt), George Adams-Kaufmann, Walter Johannes Stein. Letzteren forderte er im Juni 1933 dazu auf, als Mitarbeiter der World Power Conference, die inzwischen zu einer permanenten Organisation geworden war, nach England zu übersiedeln.

Nachdem sich Collison 1929 aus der Führung der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft Großbritanniens zurückgezogen hatte, übernahm Dunlop anfangs 1930 den Vorsitz dieser Gesellschaft in England. So wie er bestrebt gewesen war, als Chairman der WPC in die weltwirtschaftlichen Aktivitäten Vernunft, Brüderlichkeit und Harmonie zu bringen, so bemühte er sich als Chairman der Anthroposophischen Gesellschaft Großbritanniens um ein harmonisches Verhältnis zwischen den Aktivitäten an der Peripherie und denen des Zentrums (Dornach). Diese Harmonie wurde nach dem Tode Steiners im März 1925 zunehmend gestört. Ein symptomatisches Beispiel dafür: 1933 wird für die englischen Mitglieder ein News Sheet aus Dornach herausgegeben, obgleich in Großbritannien seit vielen Jahren die u.a. von Dunlop betreuten Zeitschriften Anthroposophical Movement und Anthroposophy zirkulieren; es erfolgt zugleich das Dornacher Verbot des Abdrucks englischer Übersetzungen von Vorträgen Steiners in den genannten Zeitschriften. Marie Steiner, Guenther Wachsmuth und Albert Steffen sollten nach dem Willen zahlreicher Mitglieder die Gesellschaft maßgeblich repräsentieren, während die beiden Vorstandsmitglieder Ita Wegman und Elisabeth Vreede zunehmend peripherisiert wurden.

Angesichts derartiger, unmittelbar nach Steiners Tod einsetzender polarisierender Entwicklungen hatte Dunlop bereits 1932 gegenüber W. J. Stein die Bildung einer International Association for the Advancement of Spiritual Science zu erwägen für nötig erachtet; sie hätte die höhere Einheit gegenüber der ebenso wie die gescheiterte alte Anthroposophische Gesellschaft in die Zersplitterung geratenden neuen Gesellschaft ins Auge zu fassen gehabt. Um ein Gegengewicht zu den Zersplitterungstendenzen zu schaffen, organisierte er 1934 erneut eine allen Mitgliedern offenstehende große Sommerschule in Westonbirt (Kent); zu den Anwesenden und Mitwirkenden zählten: Elisabeth Vreede, W.J. Stein, Karl Schubert, Caroline von Heydebrand, der Moltkeforscher Jürgen von Grone, George Adams-Kaufmann, Pieter de Haan, Eugen Kolisko, Eleanor Merry, Rudolf Hauschka, Owen Barfield, David Clement und viele andere.

Das lange gestörte Gleichgewicht zwischen Zentrum und Peripherie wurde vollends zerstört, als auf der Ostergeneralversammlung der AAG des Jahres 1935 Ita Wegman und Elisabeth Vreede aus dem von Rudolf Steiner zusammengesetzten Dornacher Vorstand ausgeschlossen wurden. D.N. Dunlop wurde, mit einer Reihe anderer Persönlichkeiten, aus der Gesellschaft ausgeschlossen, als ein Vertreter der «Vereinigten Freien Anthroposophischen Gruppen»; ferner wurden diese Gruppen en bloc nicht mehr als Teile der AAG anerkannt, was für Tausende von weiteren Mitgliedern de facto ebenfalls einen Ausschluss bedeutete (siehe dazu S. 21ff.). Der mit Dunlop befreundete Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz war der einzige Mensch gewesen, der auf dieser Generalversammlung mit einer wohlvorbereiteten Rede den Zerfall der von Rudolf Steiner gebildeten Gesellschaft zu verhindern suchte. Es wurde ihm mit dem Entzug der Erlaubnis, Klassenstunden zu halten, gedankt, eine Befugnis, die ihm von Rudolf Steiner selbst übertragen worden war. Dunlop starb am 30. Mai 1935, an einem Himmelfahrtstag, infolge einer Blinddarmentzündung in London. Groß war die Anteilnahme. In der Times und in Wirtschaftsblättern erschienen Nachrufe, die seine Verdienste als Gründer der World Power Conference und seine hervorragenden Qualitäten als Konflikte schlichtender Chairman diverser Körperschaften hervorhoben. Zur Kremationsfeier kamen Menschen aus aller Welt, die Dunlop wie einen gütigen Vater oder Freund verehrten. Ita Wegman fuhr von Arlesheim herüber und hielt vor anthroposophischen Freunden in London die letzte Ansprache, in der sie den Eindruck schilderte, den sie vom Antlitz des Verstorbenen empfangen hatte: «In diesem Antlitz trat sein ureigenstes Wesen zutage. Es zeigte die Spuren des Geistes in seiner wahren Gestalt, unbeeinflusst von Nationalität und Erziehung oder durch die Mühen des Alltags.» Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, der mutigste Verteidiger von Ita Wegman, D.N. Dunlop und allen aus der damaligen AAG ausgeschlossenen Persönlichkeiten, trat ein Jahr später, an Dunlops Todestag, selbst aus der AAG aus.

Daniel Nicol Dunlop wollte wie sein «Bruder» Rudolf Steiner überall die Kräfte der überpersönlichen, ewigen Individualität wachrufen und sie auch bei andern stärken. Als er am Himmelfahrtstag 1935 starb, erhielten die konfliktträchtigen Persönlichkeitsimpulse innerhalb der AAG noch mehr Auftrieb.

Thomas Meyer

Werke: Protean Man, London 1912; Symbols of Magic, London 1915; Studies in the Philosophy of Lorenz Oken, London 1916; British Destiny – The Principles of Progress, London 1916; The Path of Attainment, London 1916; The Science of Immortality; London 1918; Duty, London 1919; The Path of Knowledge, London 1920; Nature-Spirits and the Spirits of the Elements, London 1920.

Zeitschriften (Herausgeber od. Mitherausgeber): The Irish Theosophist, Dublin 1892 –1897; The Lamp, Toronto 1896–1900; The Path, London 1910–1914; BEAMA News Sheet, London 1915–1922; Anthroposophy, London 1926–1933; Anthroposophical Movement, London 1924–1975. Ferner Artikel in zahlreichen anderen Zeitschriften. Verschiedene erstmals übersetzte Aufsätze Dunlops erschienen im Europäer.

Über D. N. Dunlop: Merry, E. C. Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner und D.N. Dunlop, Basel 1992; Meyer, Th. D.N. Dunlop – Ein Zeitund Lebensbild, mit einem Vorwort von Owen Barfield, Basel, 2. Aufl. 1996.’

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(Hilversum, 1960) – – Vanaf 2016 hoofdredacteur van ‘Motief, antroposofie in Nederland’, uitgave van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland (redacteur 1999-2005 en 2014-2015) – – Vanaf 2016 redacteur van Antroposofie Magazine – – Vanaf 2007 redacteur van de Stichting Rudolf Steiner Vertalingen, die de Werken en voordrachten van Rudolf Steiner in het Nederlands uitgeeft – – 2012-2014 bestuurslid van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland – – 2009-2013 redacteur van ‘De Digitale Verbreding’, het door de Nederlandse Vereniging van Antroposofische Zorgaanbieders (NVAZ) uitgegeven online tijdschrift – – 2010-2012 lid hoofdredactie van ‘Stroom’, het kwartaaltijdschrift van Antroposana, de landelijke patiëntenvereniging voor antroposofische gezondheidszorg – – 1995-2006 redacteur van het ‘Tijdschrift voor Antroposofische Geneeskunst’ – – 1989-2001 redacteur van ‘de Sampo’, het tijdschrift voor heilpedagogie en sociaaltherapie, uitgegeven door het Heilpedagogisch Verbond

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