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.

woensdag 22 februari 2012


We hebben het Jardin du Luxembourg weer verlaten en zijn nu, als laatste station van het lange weekend op deze maandag 20 september 2010, vlak voor het vertrek uit Parijs, om half zes nog even aanbeland bij de Sacré-Coeur.

Op vrijdag 10 februari maakte ik in ‘Mani’ melding van de ‘Documentary “The Challenge Of Rudolf Steiner” to premiere at end of February’. Via Michael Eggert kwam ik ‘“The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner” – Trailer’ op het spoor.

‘For those fortunate enough to encounter them, the unique insights and research of Rudolf Steiner into subjects such as education, medicine and agriculture have long been a source of wonder and inspiration. Since his death in 1925, Steiner’s vision has grown in both relevance and urgency, yet there are many people still unaware of his life and work. The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner, from the British film-maker Jonathan Stedall, aims to take the story to a wider audience.’
Deze website geeft de volgende synopsis:
‘Filmed during 2011 – the 150th anniversary year of Rudolf Steiner’s birth – this two-part documentary by veteran film-maker Jonathan Stedall tells the story of Steiner’s remarkable life (1861-1925), as well as exploring the influence of his ideas and insights on a whole range of contemporary activities – education, agriculture, medicine, social and financial issues, and the arts.

PART ONE (1 hour 30 minutes) describes Steiner’s childhood as the son of a humble railway official, growing up in the Austrian countryside, and his student years in Vienna towards the end of the 19th century. Hugely influenced by Goethe’s scientific writings, he was gradually able to reconcile the powerful spiritual experiences he had had since childhood with his interest in science and philosophy. Nevertheless it was not until he was nearly forty that he found an audience interested and open to what he came to call his spiritual science.

During the last twenty-five years of his life he lectured extensively all over Europe to educators, farmers, doctors, artists – and above all to people searching for a way that no longer separated science from religion, faith from reason, spirit from matter.

The film looks at examples of his legacy in the UK, India and the USA – Waldorf education, Biodynamic agriculture, Camphill’s work for those with special needs, and at Eurythmy, both as a therapy and as an art.

PART TWO (1 hour 45 minutes) looks initially at the subject of reincarnation and karma, with film at a prison in South Wales, at Ruskin Mill in Gloucestershire – a college for disadvantaged youngsters – and at a course for Biographical Counsellors at Emerson College in Sussex.

In the USA there are scenes at Waldorf Schools in Hawthorn Valley and Washington DC, at a biodynamic winery in California, and at the Copake Camphill community. Also featured are examples of Waldorf educational ideas being introduced into mainstream schooling at a Charter School in California and at the Steiner Academy Hereford.

The film concludes with examples of Steiner’s influence on medicine – in Switzerland at the Hiscia Institute, and in England at Weleda in Derbyshire and at the Blackthorn Medical Centre in Kent – and culminates with a sequence at an international medical conference at the Goethenum in Dornach.’
Onder de titel ‘Rudolf Steiner’ geeft Jonathan Stedall op nog een andere manier een resumé van de film, door de verschillende geïnterviewden aan het woord te laten:
‘Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was an Austrian philosopher, educationalist and visionary who once described his task as awakening the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe. But for Steiner there was essentially only one world – part seemingly hidden, part revealed.

As a child he was surrounded by the unspoiled landscape of Lower Austria and by railway trains – his father was a stationmaster; but what increasingly occupied his attention were what he called “the enigmas of existence”, and already at the age of fourteen he was reading the philosopher Emmanuel Kant. However, it was through the scientific writings of Goethe that the young Steiner finally found inspiration for his own unique path.

He studied at the Technical University in Vienna towards the end of the 19th century, and at the age of thirty was awarded a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Rostock. But it was to be another ten years before he found an audience, initially among members of the Theosophical Society in Berlin, interested to learn about his rich inner life of spiritual experiences – experiences of which we are all capable of having, if – like Steiner – we are prepared to do the work.

For the last twenty years or so of his life he travelled all over Europe speaking to a wide variety of people who were looking for a deeper understanding of human existence and of the world in which they lived.

Almost a hundred years later Steiner’s work as a writer and lecturer continues to help and inspire people searching for renewal in all areas of human life – education, medicine, agriculture and the arts, as well as social and financial initiatives that place the needs and aspirations of the individual human being at the centre of decision-making.

“Rudolf Steiner could see the world not just as it is or as it was, but as it could be; and that is a lonely path, a very lonely path”. These words were spoken to me by Dennis Klocek, a modern day alchemist working with Steiner’s indications in relation to agriculture, and a lecturer in Consciousness Studies at Rudolf Steiner College near Sacramento in California.

My film is full of such helpful and sometimes challenging statements about the life and legacy of Rudolf Steiner. A biodynamic farmer on the east coast of the USA, Steffen Schneider, spoke of Steiner’s picture of agriculture as “something that would be valid for hundreds and hundreds of years”. The real challenge, he suggested, was not only to try and grasp what Steiner was talking about, “but to develop the insights and capacities to really see for oneself what he described”.

At an anthroposophical conference in Hyderabad, an Australian-based Englishman, Ben Cherry, who is helping to foster the Waldorf School movement in China and Taiwan, spoke of meeting the work of Rudolf Steiner as like finding water in the desert. “I had searched through many different paths”, he told me, “including the spiritual path of modern science”.

At Queens’ College, Cambridge, the Revd Dr. Fraser Watts described what he saw as Steiner’s distinctive approach as wanting to address religious and spiritual questions scientifically. He went on to speak of “Steiner’s serious sense of purpose to leave the world a better place as a result of his mission...” a mission characterised by this great outpouring of practical activities. It was a thought echoed by the President of the Biodynamic Association in India, ‘Jakes’ Jakarayan, whose farm we visited. “The beauty of Dr Rudolf Steiner”, he told me, “was that he was not just a philosopher living in a world of ideas, but that he brought all these ideas to practical human activity, whether it’s agriculture, education, medicine, or architecture”.

Among the doctors I spoke to at an international medical conference in Switzerland, at the Goetheanum in Dornach – Steiner’s base for the last ten years or so of his life – was Dr. Michael Evans, who runs courses in anthroposophic medicine for doctors in the UK, and in India and the Phillipines. His answer to my question – “What is unique about Steiner’s contribution to medicine?” – was Steiner’s challenge to doctors “to think beyond the box.” Steiner recognised what conventional medicine had to offer in relation to a detailed knowledge of the physical body, Evans went on, but what also needed to be recognised was that each person has a soul and a spiritual identity, and all that is part of being human, and all that is part of the process of becoming ill – and potentially can be mobilised in the healing process.

Another doctor, Ursula Flatters, working at the Vidar Clinic in Sweden, spoke to me about the importance she attaches to the biography of every patient in relation to their illness. We each have a story, she said, and sometimes that story is a secret story – even for the patient.

Dr. David McGavin spoke of the help of having what he called “Rudolf Steiner’s maps” in his work with pain management at the Blackthorn Medical Centre in Kent. And a doctor from Chile, Carina Zeller, described to me her relief at finally finding a bridge between her deep interest in science and the importance she attached to spirituality.

In connection with the work for those with special needs that has spread all over the world as a result of Steiner’s lectures and writings, I visited two Camphill communities – one in England, and one in New England at Copake. There Penny Baring described to me her understanding of Steiner’s special contribution to this sort of work, in that a person with disabilities – like everyone else – will have further incarnations, and that what surrounds them now can help and even enrich their lives in the future.

The young baker at Copake, Joseph Papas – in response to my question about the danger of Steiner’s legacy becoming too isolated and even elitist – expressed the thought that although the biography of a Camphill community, like that of the individual, needed a certain separation for a time in order to grow and become strong, such a place perhaps now needed “to grow beyond its borders”.

On this same theme, Arthur Zajonc – Professor of Physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst – in response to my title “The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner”, suggested that one of the greatest challenges Steiner poses for us today is “the challenge that he lived with in his own lifetime – namely the challenge to battle against sectarianism”. A similar observation was made by Fraser Watts at Cambridge University in relation to the following that has built up around Steiner which can, he said, look rather cult-like. “Not at all what he wanted”, he added, “but it can look like that.”

There was certainly nothing cult-like about Phil Forder’s work at Parc Prison in South Wales, where he has run educational courses for eleven years; Phil was formerly a teacher in a Steiner Waldorf School. “For me one of the main things that Steiner brings”, he told me, “is that there is a lot more than meets the eye.” A professor of philosophy and religion at the California Institute for Integral Studies, Jacob Sherman, echoed this thought when he acknowledged that Steiner’s work had opened up for him new possibilities that he hadn’t considered before.

Perhaps the most challenging statement in this respect came from the writer and publisher, Christopher Bamford.: “The essence of his message – and this is why it’s somewhat difficult to communicate – is that we already, here and now as we are, live in a spiritual world.”

Nonetheless Steiner had his feet firmly on the ground. For him spirit and matter were intertwined. Robert McDermott, editor of “The New Essential Steiner”, spoke to me about Steiner’s concern – particularly in the aftermath of the First World War – at what was happening politically, socially and economically. “He’s not a Marxist”, said McDermott, “but he drank from that cup... capitalism is a cruel system; so too is totalitarianism”. It was “an un-crual system” that Steiner was looking for, in which the economic, political and cultural spheres would work collaboratively without any one taking over the other.

On this subject, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Dutch-based Triodos Bank, Peter Blom, spoke to me about how Steiner always had the human being in the back of his mind, whether he was talking about economics, medicine or education.

This emphasis on the importance of the individual human being and where each one is coming from – their own unique story – underpins the whole Waldorf School movement. It’s what attracted Clarence Harvey, a teacher in mainstream secondary education in Liverpool, to join the Steiner Academy Hereford – the first Waldorf School in Britain to become state-funded, as yet without unacceptable strings attached. I looked at a similar initiative in the USA. The Washington Carver School near Sacramento is one of thirty Charter Schools in California alone that is introducing some of Steiner’s educational ideas.

At the Waldorf School in Washington DC, one of the teachers, Jack Petrash, emphasised the need for education not only to prepare children for what Clarence Harvey called “the external needs of society, important as many as these needs are”. Petrash expressed it as follows: “I feel children are going to need to ask questions that nobody is asking yet, in order to solve the world’s problems.”

“Steiner was a realist and a very practical person”, was another of Penny Baring’s observations that she shared with me – “he saw that he was planting seeds for the future”. And in a Coffee House in Vienna a young NGO executive, Philippa Belcredi, described to me what she understood by Steiner’s main message: “He wanted us to stand up for our own ideas … He didn’t want us to follow him; he wanted us to follow ourselves.” Dr Peter Selg expressed a similar thought: “The last thing Steiner wanted to have was dependant people”. And on the same note the eurythmist, Margaretha Solstad, spoke to me about the challenge “to individualise what he has given”.

I would only add that for me another essential aspect of Steiner’s message – a message that tries to communicate ancient wisdom in a form appropriate for modern consciousness – is that the world does have meaning and purpose, and that we are not alone, not just in our daily lives, but in the universe at large. Some listened, some not. Herein lay the challenge, both for him and now for us.

“What’s unique about the work of Rudolf Steiner”, said Dennis Klocek, “is that it is not just a tradition. He threw down the glove and said you have to do something with this”.’
Interessant is verder nog de informatie over Jonathan Stedall zelf:
‘The year 2011 was Jonathan Stedall’s fiftieth year as a documentary film-maker. He began his career as an ASM and then Stage Manager in Repertory Theatre, and then worked in the cutting-rooms at Pinewood as an assistant film editor. For two years he was a Floor Manager in ITV before becoming a studio and film director at TWW in Cardiff and Bristol in 1961. There he made his first films with the poet John Betjeman, and in 1963 joined the BBC as a producer at the advent of BBC2.

Jonathan worked on the staff of the BBC for twenty seven years and has made over 150 documentaries, working with many thoughtful and creative people including Laurens van der Post, Alan Bennett, Mark Tully, Malcolm Muggeridge, Fritz Schumacher, Cecil Collins, Bernard Lovell, Ben Okri and Theodore Roszak.

In 1969 he won a British Film Academy Award for his film “In Need of Special Care” about a Camphill School in Scotland, and since then has made further films about Camphill’s work for children and adults with special needs.

Other notable productions include biographies of Tolstoy, Gandhi and Jung, and three films for the 1976 BBC series “The Long Search” – in Romania, Taiwan and California.

His book “Where on Earth is Heaven?” was published by Hawthorn Press in 2009 – see his website:
De prductiemaatschappij Cupola Productions blijkt speciaal voor dit doel opgericht:
‘Cupola Productions was initially created in 2010 to produce Jonathan Stedall’s film “The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner”. As well as making this documentary for worldwide distribution through Television, DVDs and the Internet, this non profit-making company hopes to make available, to those interested in Rudolf Steiner’s insights and indications, some of the unused material – in particular over thirty of the unedited interviews filmed during the making of the documentary – for educational and training purposes. It also plans, through its website, to pass on general information about anthroposophical initiatives all over the world.’
Het ‘Latest news’ leert ons dat @steinerfilm ook op Twitter is. Hier werd about 14 hours ago gemeld:
‘Just reached 4000 plays of the trailer. Watch it here
Verder zal er een mogelijkheid zijn om de DVD te kopen en zelfs te downloaden. Maar nu staat daar nog:
‘This page is still under construction. The site will be fully live by 1st March 2012.’

1 opmerking:

fairoaks zei

For anyone interested in learning about Rudolf Steiner a new online Philosophy Of Freedom Study Course is available at . Its Free and includes videos, illustrations, observation exercises and diagrams to help study the book. Living at the core of all of Rudolf Steiner's work is his “Philosophy Of Freedom”. In this book he gives his principles of free thinking and free morality developed in his ascent to freedom. It empowers one's life through deepening scientific inquiry and living according to one's highest ideals.


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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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