Wednesday, February 18, 2015

‘SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar at NYU’

Anthroposophists and enthusiasts of the teachings of Rudolf Steiner will converge on New York University next month to attend the Annual SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar. From the publicity:

Who Was Rudolf Steiner?
His Years of Preparation, 1861-1900
March 20-21
Kimmel Center at NYU
60 Washington Square South
New York, New York
Admission: $75-$175

Rudolf Steiner, 1892
There are no ordinary lives. While each unfolds according to certain universal archetypes, the particulars are always utterly, infinitely, unique. To learn to ‘read’ the life of another, with care and reverence, is to see the movements and marks—the signature—of an eternal spiritual being whose development and aims are both singular and wholly enmeshed in a community of others. There are no ordinary lives; still, the lives of the ‘great ones’ among us can shed a penetrating light on the nature of our time; on the tasks we face; on the living connections between us; on ourselves.

Rudolf Steiner himself insisted on the importance of modern individuals awakening and cultivating a positive (non-judgmental) interest in the other: in the singular journey of development another undertakes. With openness, patience, joy, and childlike awe we may ask of another: Who are you? How did you become this one I see before me?

To ask this of anyone is salutary, for the inquirer and the inquired; to ask it of an initiate is both profound in itself and a preparation for ‘reading’ the life of all others we encounter.

With this in mind, and in celebration of the publication of the first two volumes in English of Peter Selg’s ambitious and insightful biography of Rudolf Steiner, this seminar will focus on Rudolf Steiner’s life and experiences—his path of initiation—as these prepared him to bring Anthroposophy into the world.

Too often Steiner’s life “before Anthroposophy” is taken for granted. We can think we know it, and so remain closed to its depths and mysteries. We can remain asleep to the human meaning of this astonishing life journey that led from the small railroad town of Kraljevec on the borders of Hungary and Croatia, through Vienna and Weimar, to Berlin, so that the birth of Anthroposophy could take place.

  • Through what experiences and encounters did his life lead him?
  • What prepared him to bring Anthroposophy into the world at the turn of the twentieth century?
  • Who was he who was so led?
  • What is my own connection to this human (spiritual) being and the path he trod?

To help us answer such questions, Peter Selg, Director of the Ita Wegman Institute in Arlesheim, Switzerland, a psy- chiatrist by training, and the author of many books on Rudolf Steiner’s life and teaching will give three lectures on outer and inner aspects of Rudolf Steiner’s life and circumstances up to his fortieth year. As a practiced biographer with a profound, esoteric understanding of history, Peter is well-qualified for the task of bringing to life a ‘positive natural history’ of this individual’s development. More than just a writer and esoteric scholar, Peter is also a much-loved speaker, well-known for his empathic, heart-centered approach to esoteric topics. We can have no better guide.

To complement his presentations, Rahel Kern, author of a recent biography of Marie Steiner, will speak on Marie Steiner; and Christopher Bamford will speak of significant moments in Rudolf Steiner’s early life, which, in retrospect, enable us to see Anthroposophy in a new light.

Friday, March 20
6:00 Registration
7:00 Welcome—Gene Gollogly
7:15 Peter Selg—“I pursue a quite specific goal: Childhood, Youth, and Student Years in Vienna”
8:30 Reception

Saturday, March 21
8:00 Refreshments
8:30 Eurythmy : Sea-Anna Vasilas
9:00 Peter Selg: “A profound transformation: The Weimar Years
10:30 Break
11:00 Christopher Bamford: “An Open Secret: Rudolf Steiner’s Life as a Path to Understanding Anthroposophy”
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Rahel Kern: “Marie Steiner-von Sivers’ Karmic Path”
2:30 Sea-Anna Vasilas: “Eurythmy”
2:50 Break
3:00 Peter Selg: “Must I Remain Unable to Speak? Berlin in the 1890s”
4:30 Closing panel

Peter Selg studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin. Until 2000, he worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke hospital in Germany. Dr. Selg is now director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy in Arlesheim, Switzerland; and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences in Germany.

Rahel Kern has been an avid student of Anthroposophy since her teens, with a particular interest in Steiner’s contributions to philosophy and the evolution of consciousness as reflected in the development of thought through the centuries. She currently lives in London and works in international marketing. Her work takes her on frequent travels around the globe.

Christopher Bamford is editor in chief of Steiner-Books and Lindisfarne Books and a writer, scholar, and spiritual researcher in the fields of Anthroposophy, Western esotericism and spirituality, esoteric Christianity, literature, and contemporary philosophy. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions.

Sea-Anna Vasilas is a member of the Eurythmy Spring Valley Performing Ensemble where she also serves on the faculty of the School of Eurythmy and carries the responsibility of Tour Coordinator for the Ensemble. Through her experiences with myriad movement art forms, meditative paths, education, and farming, Sea-Anna found her way to eurythmy and has made it her life’s passion and work.

In order for us to both cover our costs (speaker’s fees, use of space, etc.) and make this event as accessible as possible, we are offering a sliding scale attendance fee with confidence that those who are in a position to give more will do so. The price is a sliding scale fee from $175 to $75.

For information and to register, write to:

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