Childish things

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11, King James Version)

The writer C S Lewis, in his On Three Ways of Writing for Children, extended this thought of St Paul’s a little further:

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

The anthropopper finds that, as he gets older, he thinks more and more often of his childhood. Just lately, I have been remembering the first class in my first school, when I was 4 years old; and in particular I remember two children’s hymns that we sang then, perhaps because I find them to be as meaningful for me now as an adult as they were when I was a little boy.

Our class teacher was Miss Butterworth, whom I adored and intended to marry when I was a grown-up. I can still recall my bitter disappointment when the headmaster told us she had married a Frenchman and become Mrs Gillette.

Firs Farm v3

Class 1, Firs Farm Primary School, London N13 in 1955. Miss Butterworth is on the right and Miss Atkins on the left. The anthropopper is 4th from the left in the middle row.

Outside the house, the sun is shining and on the lawn the daisies and buttercups are strewn in profusion, like silver and gold stars among a grassy firmament. Inside, as I gaze out of the window at the garden, I can also see the classroom assistant, Miss Atkins, who is playing the piano, while Miss Butterworth teaches us the words:

Daisies are our silver,

Buttercups our gold;

This is all the treasure

We can have or hold.

 

Raindrops are our diamonds

And the morning dew;

While for shining sapphires

We’ve the speedwell blue.

More than sixty years later, I remember it all clearly, and sing the words to myself, conscious of moist eyes. You can hear the music, a hymn tune called Glenfinlas by K G Finlay (1882 – 1974), played on a church organ, here.

The hymnbook we used at my first school was called Songs of Praise, and I have wanted for some time to own a copy; so I was delighted on a visit to St David’s Cathedral in Wales to find it, including the music, on sale in the cathedral shop. From the list of credits, it is clear that the people behind Songs of Praise were very distinguished: the Words Editor was the Revd Canon Percy Dearmer (1867 – 1936), an ecumenist, socialist and advocate for the public ministry of women; while the Music Editors were the composers Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958) and Martin Shaw (1875 – 1958).

percy dearmer

The Revd. Canon Percy Dearmer

Christopher Howse, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said that “It was brave of Dearmer to recruit the genius of Ralph Vaughan Williams … since the composer was formally an atheist, though he heard even in an errand boy’s careless whistling ‘nothing else than an attempt to reach into the infinite’ ”.

Vaughan-williams-hoppé

Ralph Vaughan Williams in the 1920s (photo by E A Hoppe)

It was Martin Shaw who, during his work on Songs of Praise, came upon the traditional Gaelic hymn-tune Bunessan while researching in the British Library and then used it to set the words of Morning is Broken, which he had commissioned specially from his old friend Eleanor Farjeon. This tune and Farjeon’s words became a No. 1 hit for Cat Stevens in 1972.

 

geoffrey_and_martin_shaw

Brothers and composers – Geoffrey and Martin Shaw

Dearmer, Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw brought some of the best of their contemporaries into the hymnal project, including composers such as: Arnold Bax, Gustav Holst, Herbert Howells, John Ireland, Arthur Somervell and Herbert Sumsion; and writers including : Laurence Binyon, Robert Bridges, G K Chesterton, Edmund Gosse, Laurence Housman, Rudyard Kipling, John Masefield. They also commissioned many new hymns using verses from various great writers such as: Matthew Arnold, John Bunyan, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Donne, Goethe, Robert Herrick, John Milton, Christina Rossetti, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Walt Whitman and Wordsworth.

struther

Jan Struther

One of these contemporaries was Jan Struther, who wrote Daisies are our Silver and several other hymns that were included in the revised 1931 version of Songs of Praise. Her literary name was a compression of her real name, Joyce Anstruther. Joyce had an interesting, rather tragic life and under her married name of Mrs Maxtone Graham was a member of the special committee formed in 1929 to support the work of enlarging the first version of Songs of Praise. During the 1939/45 war, she had much success (that later came to haunt her), with her creation of the character Mrs Miniver, which became a film of that name starring Greer Garson. The film depicted the everyday life and preoccupations of a middle class British family in wartime and was credited with helping to change public opinion in the USA about joining Britain to fight in the Second World War.

Lizette_Woodworth_Reese

Lizette Woodworth Reese

Martin Shaw’s brother, Geoffrey, was also a composer; and it was Geoffrey Shaw (1879 – 1943) who wrote the music to words by the 19th century American poet Lizette Woodworth Reese (1856 – 1935), Glad that I live am I, which is the second hymn I remember learning with Miss Butterworth and Miss Atkins:

Glad that I live am I,

That the sky is blue;

Glad for the country lanes

And the fall of dew.

 

After the sun the rain,

After the rain the sun;

This is the way of life

Till the work be done.

 

All that we need to do,

Be we low or high,

Is to see that we grow

Nearer the sky.

Such simple words are suitable for a child’s understanding, but also contain sufficient layers and compression of meaning to satisfy an adult’s need for truth. And who is to say that this is not good poetry? I am glad that it still seems to be meaningful for teachers and pupils today: you can hear Oaklands School in Loughton, Essex, singing it on YouTube at their school prizegiving in 2015.

31 Comments

Filed under Songs of Praise hymnal

31 responses to “Childish things

  1. Dear Jeremy,

    My compulsion is to write this first in order to get it out of the way, and then hope for a nice discussion about how “tabula rasa” meets the modern-day education system. I too am on the memory-trail, and remember living quite acutely within the kingdoms of childhood as a little boy of just five years when my mother dressed me one day in early September 1955 in order to enroll me in kindergarten at Washington Elementary School. Many proofs exist still for a naive clairvoyance beheld by little children until they start school. Then, it slips away so quickly as if it never existed. Yet, it is the aim of spiritual science to regain this knowledge perceived as innocents, and now in the hands of adults.

    In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is stated by Christ:
    “Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. These words are found in Mt, 18:3, Mk, 10:15, and Lk, 18:17.

    “Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” impels us to look up to mighty impulses flowing through human evolution.

    “When a human being enters this world as a child, he has come directly from the spiritual world. What happens in physical life, the procreation and growth of his physical body, is only a covering for the event that cannot be described otherwise than by saying: man’s central being leaves the spiritual world. He is born out of the spirit into the body. When the Rosicrucian says “Ex Deo Nascimur,” he is speaking of the human being entering the physical world. What first en-sheathes him, what makes him a complete physical being here on earth: this is what is referred to by the words “Ex Deo Nascimur.” If one would speak of the kernel of the human being, his innermost core of being, one must say: he comes down from the spirit into this physical world. Through what takes place in the physical world — which he is able to observe from spiritual regions before his conception and birth — he is clothed with a physical body, in order that he may have experiences that are only possible in such a body. But he has come, in his central core of being, out of the spiritual world. And he reveals — to one who wants to see things as they really are in this world, who is not blinded by materialistic illusions — he reveals in his very first years by his very nature that he has come out of the spirit. One’s experiences with a child, if one has insight, are of such a character that one feels in him the after-effects of his recent life in the spiritual world.”

    […]

    “The human being enters the world as a spiritual being. His bodily nature while he is a child is still undefined; it has as yet laid small claim to his spiritual nature, which is entering into physical existence as if it were falling asleep. This spiritual nature only seems so empty of content to us because we cannot perceive it in ordinary life, just as we cannot perceive the sleeping ego and astral body when they are separated from the physical and etheric bodies. But the fact that we do not perceive a being does not make it less perfect. This is what the human being has to accomplish in regard to his physical body: that he shall bury himself in it more and more deeply, in order to acquire faculties that can only be acquired in this way. His soul and spirit being must lose themselves for a while in physical existence. In order that we may always remember our spiritual origin, in order that we may grow strong in the thought that we have journeyed out of the spirit into the physical world.” GA187, lecture 1, 12/22/1918.

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    • Here is a good Steiner aphorism which conveys, “Lest ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.

      “If a pearl is lying in the roadway and a chicken finds it, the chicken does not value the pearl. Most men and women today are chickens in this respect. They do not value the pearl that lies there in full view before them. What they value is something quite different. They value their concepts and ideas, but no one could think abstractly, could have thoughts and ideas, if he were not clairvoyant. In our ordinary thinking the pearl of clairvoyance is contained from the start. Ideas arise in the soul through exactly the same process as what gives rise to its highest powers. It is immensely important to learn to understand that clairvoyance begins in something common and everyday. We only have to recognize the super-sensible nature of our concepts and ideas. We must realize that these come to us from the super-sensible worlds; only then can we look at the matter rightly.”

      The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita, lecture II, 29 May 1913

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  2. Jeremy wrote:

    The writer C S Lewis, in his On Three Ways of Writing for Children, extended this thought of St Paul’s a little further:

    “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

    C S Lewis is noted for having a so-called “great war” with Owen Barfield, and Lionel Adey wrote a book that chronicled their exchange. Lewis acknowledged that Barfield was the greatest intellectual he had ever known, but could not accept anything from Rudolf Steiner. Yet, who is the one revered today with their childish acceptance of the things of the spirit?

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  3. Joseph

    Just beautiful!

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    • Jeremy has written about an important excerpt from C S Lewis’ life when he was about ten years old. Here it is:

      “The writer C S Lewis, in his On Three Ways of Writing for Children, extended this thought of St Paul’s a little further: “When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

      When C S Lewis was ten years old, and reading fairy tales in secret, Rudolf Steiner was telling about how the education of the child needs these very same fairy tales for its future growth and development, ref GA 34.

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Articles/GA034/English/RSP1965/EduChi_essay.html

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  4. Dear Jeremy,

    I only write this because your current blog post has received so few comments, but I think it has to do with the upcoming election, in which people are likely clenching their teeth. Steiner gives remarks here in which in early June of 1913 the same kind of dilemma existed, Sleep pervades human life, and we need to wake up to the consequences if we should continue to slumber. This is from the second Finland lecture-course, c. GA146, 1 June 1913. Herein, Steiner is proposing to the Finns that they need to consider what it means to be free from the Russian empire, which would still continue until 1916. Then, Finland became free.

    “If we would penetrate into the mysteries of human life we must fix our attention on a great law of existence, I mean what is called the cyclic law. As a rule it is better to explain and describe than to define. In this case also I prefer to explain by definite concepts what is meant by the cyclic course of life, for alongside the actual reality a definition must always appear scanty and lacking in substance. A philosophic school in Greece, wishing to gain insight into the nature of definitions, once set out to give a definition of man. As you know, definitions are intended to provide concepts corresponding to the phenomena of experience, but those having logical insight cannot help feeling the poverty and unfruitfulness of this process. The members of the Greek school eventually agreed to define man as a featherless biped. While this particular definition sounds rather like a silly epigram it does represent the nature of man in certain respects. The next day one of the members of this school brought in a plucked hen and said to the company, “According to your definition this is a man.” A silly way to show the unreality of attempts to define things. Being concerned with realities we will proceed then to describe things in their essential characteristics.

    To begin, we will consider a cycle familiar in everyday life, that of our waking and sleeping. What does it really signify? We can only understand the nature of sleep if we realize that in the present epoch the soul activity of man’s waking life brings about a continual destruction of delicate structures in the nervous system. With our every thought and with every impulse of will that arises in us under the stimulus of the outside world, we are destroying delicate forms in our brain. In the near future it will more and more be realized how sleep has to supplement our waking day life. We are approaching the point where natural science will join with spiritual science in these matters. Natural science has already produced more than one theory to the effect that our waking life brings a kind of destructive process to nerves and brain. Owing to this fact we have to allow the corresponding reverse process, the compensation, to take place during sleep.”

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    • Steiner used a lot of words to express what people did not understand at the time in which he was speaking. Now, today, we can gauge a great deal more when people like Theresa May come out in blatant defiance of Donald Trump, whose penchant for ‘tweeting’on sensitive issues of national and world security compels him to speak against the London mayor, and she responds in support of her mayor, Khan.

      Did Trump only see the name as a possible Muslim sympathizer? I like her response here, and also where she sees it as indicative of England needing to “go it alone” in the resolve to leave the EU.

      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/theresa-may-trump-wrong-for-criticizing-london-mayor/article/2625076

      Theresa May has only grown in stature over the last few days in the eyes of many Americans like myself, along with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. We see the responsible position taken, while Trump gets to have his way in bombast.

      So, the resolve is easy for the Europeans. Consider Trump a lost cause and dump him. This is already being noted with Vladimir Putin’s interview with Kelly. He blames the mass media for creating such nonsense, which she is a part of.

      Steve

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  5. Demetrios Peroulas

    1. Being created in the image of the Trinity means that we are only true persons when there is at least two people in a communion of other-centered love. God is not arithmetically one, but a union of persons in love in an essential way. Too often the discussion of the image of God revolves around intellect, as found in a secular expression in Descartes, “I think therefore I am”. Rather, the Gospel of Christ Jesus tells us, “you are loved, therefore you are. I love therefore I am”. And in order to BE like that, we must become as little children.
    2. An old Egyptian saying tells that “Greeks are always children”. Maybe this explains why we are so much hated by the always serious and even arrogant Germans. Unfortunately, this happens for the last 1000 years without seeing any real improvement. On the other hand, sometimes Greeks are behaving like spoiled children.
    3. My warmest greetings to Liliana (and all).

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    • In certain respects, we need to be very pragmatic about comments you make here. We live in a world which has gone haywire. Britain is in a position to call their own destiny today. Merkel in Germany will have her day in September. I doubt that she sees Greece as a country needing to be oppressed in the economic milieu of present-day EU. The German heritage seems to know by their own inclinations how important the Greek epoch was for the evolution of intelligence. Whatever remains as a relic today only needs the support of the enlightenment.

      As such, Greece is as important for the security and integrity of southern Europe as is the American continent, in which the aboriginal race of america was oppressed by the european colonists to such a degree that it was eventually confined to certain territorial boundaries. And yet, we all survive in order to try to make sense of it.

      I hope so. And with the advantage that spiritual science gives, we can even reveal the blatant aims of the unwashed ignorant who masquerade in emperors’ clothes and influence the masses.

      So, should we speak up, or rather worry about being politically correct? I often speak up, and then wonder what Ottmar, Liliana, Shea, and Jeremy must think. If I have to extend the pledge to the southernmost realm of the continent, i.e., Greece, then to you dear Demetrios, I extend it. Rudolf Steiner expressed a great deal about Greece, and whatever limits it upholds today should be bankrolled by EU. I think that is only fair. Maintaining integrity of the continent is the important thing.

      Steve

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      • Demetrios Peroulas

        Maybe I speak as a child (childish) but the fact remains: Western culture & European enlightenment are absolutely contrary & hostile (in terms of centuries-long pragmatic life’s everyday experience) to the ideal I expressed the other day: “Being created in the image of the Holy Trinity means that we are only true persons when there is at least two people in a communion of other-centered love (I remind you here of Steiner’s Fundamental Social Law). God is a union of (three) persons in love. … You are loved, therefore you are. I love therefore I am”.
        So, as you see, Christian Greece does NOT belong to the West. Rather, It is closer to Holy Russia! This is the simple truth. You speak out of a western perspective. I don’t. And, believe me, I have countless good reasons for doing this.
        My only hope is an anthroposophically-oriented West, otherwise the Schism stays and grows instead of being healed and bridged…

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      • I admit to speaking out of the western perspective because I was born into it. Yet, it does not diminish what spiritual science means for those that use it to judge current events. As such, “Holy Russia” is a term that refers to the future. In today’s milieu of common and propagandist opinion, Russia, which was formerly the USSR, or Soviet Socialist Republic, is a country which is not accepted or trusted by the west, and this includes much of Europe.

        As well, we have more than a hint of the triple-threat of the “three m’s”; May, Macron, and Merkel for the continued solidarity of the continent of Europe. May of Britain has taken a recent risk in an attempt to increase support for the Brexit vote to leave the EU. Sadly, due to recent planned terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, she has come under negative criticism which has leveled her aim to gain the needed advantage in the Conservative Party.

        In America, Trump is under assault by the former director of the FBI, and this could cause an impeachment proceeding just five months into his inauguration. So, the times are volatile and mobile, as we speak; an anthroposophical world conception is warranted, and hopefully listened to by those that seek to commune whenever two or more are involved. Like us 🙂

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  6. This is a evocative post Jeremy.
    There always were teachers, most of whom never heard of Steiner or Waldorf, who out of their own intuition knew how to meet a child’s soul needs.
    I started my teaching career in a little C.of E. school in Wath-Upon-Dearne, a small mining village in the South Yorkshire coal field. I worked in state education in a number of different roles but never forgot how beautifully Miss Chappell and Miss Brocklebank, the infant teachers, created a haven for children from financially poor and sometimes neglectful families. Since then I learnt that parents from every social cIass can neglect their children. Neglect is not tied to financial status, though poverty obviously impacts on quality of life.
    I was teaching 2nd year juniors (8 -9 years).
    We all sang ‘Daisies are our silver…’ and ‘Glad that I live am I….’, along with other lovely hymns often using celtic or english folk melodies.
    The children also learnt sewing and weaving. Not being able to knit myself I could not teach that!
    In all my years in the state schools I met many fine and honourable people.

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    • Dear Tom,

      I also find Jeremy’s post very evocative. It caused me to go over a long memory review which began in the backyard of my early childhood, when the nature spirits were really perceived, and mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms were the earthly reflections of the realms of our preexistence in higher worlds. I remember waking up every morning and thanking God for my life. Then, I went out and lived in amazement that God could create such a world that would replicate the spiritual origins in effective representation.

      Then, one day in early September 1955, just five years old, my mother dressed me and walked me down the block and up the street to Washington Elementary School in order to begin Kindergarten. My teacher, Miss Nelson, was all about learning social skills and how we must learn to cooperate with each other. One of the projects involved joining in to build a kind of lego house. Personally, I found it all rather useless, and wondered why my mother simply didn’t keep me at home, where I was learning from the nature spirits in the backyard.

      One of Rudolf Steiner’s very last lecture-courses in 1924 was this one concerning how the kingdoms of childhood go on to build the early so-called “educational epochs”. Now, it all makes sense, although there was a time in which I wanted to remain safe and secure in the arms of my mother. Yet, she had to do what was mandated by the system of education, c. 1955.

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA311/English/AP1982/KinChi_index.html

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      • Thanks Tom. For me, as an adult who is now 66 years old, I often live in the memory of early childhood. It can happen that self-remembering goes back this far. Thus, as adults it seems appropriate to consider what it means when Christ says: “lest ye become as little children ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. For me, this can only mean finding my way to spiritual science at the age of thirty-seven.

        Yes, I did not hear of Rudolf Steiner until the second moon nutation, which is the second multiple of 18.6 years of life. And that is why I attempt to sustain it in these discussions, which I hope are fruitful. As such, it will always prove interesting to consider the early discourse of Lewis and Barfield, which, while not proving to convince Lewis, certainly only increased his imaginative power to express his own version of Christianity. This is the secret value that Owen Barfield provided to his friend in the so-called “great war”; the power of Imagination. Just look at how CS Lewis went off in his flights of fancy, although taking early pains to write his famous apologetic, “The Pilgrims Regress” in 1933. If you’ve read this book, it scoffs at occultism, but yet acknowledges the work of the British idealists, T.H. Green, F.H. Bradley, and Bernard Bosanquet.

        Barfield would only refer to the philology of the romantic era, which must have been in his mind’s eye over the Steiner equation. And Lewis got brought to the surprised by joy.

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  7. Demetrios Peroulas

    Dear Friends from Western and Central Europe,
    Please, stop for a while to think about your elections etc and listen to the CALL of Eastern & Southeastern Europe and the whole of Humanity:
    Are there in human evolution only the extremely ahrimanised forms of consciousness soul evolution as they appear in the numerous pseudo-achievements of the mass anti-culture of Americanism and in the numerous pseudo-european projects of Mefistofelian Germanism, or is there in the world another form of the consciousness soul – one that is spiritualized and permeated by the Christ-impulse? In other words: does the ever-intensifying individualization of man in modern times, arising out of the consciousness soul, bring to earthly evolution {and especially to us living in the Christian East} only evil, destruction, moral decadence and interminable outpourings of wild, anti-social instincts, or is this quality of human individuality, in its ever-greater freedom from all outward norms, laws, precepts, traditions and prescriptions, capable of giving birth out of itself to higher moral ideals and new socially active impulses which will then at the same time be the moral ideals and social impulses of the Christ amongst mankind?
    This is the true Parsifal Question, the question of the consciousness soul, which TODAY sounds from Eastern & Southeastern Europe!
    But you don’t listen…
    Rudolf Steiner calls it (on 17 September 1923 in Stuttgart, quoted by Lily Kolisko in “Eugen Kolisko. Ein Lebensbild”) “the very greatest, most terrible catastrophe” for the whole of earthly evolution if there is especially in Central Europe and in the West NO UNDERSTANDING (as it already happens) for their own spiritual life, if it has not become the FOUNDATION and the DRIVING FORCE of cultural and social life.
    As Marie Steiner von Sivers wrote (in the forward to the Russian edition of Rudolf Steiner’s “Theosophy”): “The future of Russia [and please let me add that of Greece] lies in its readiness to receive that Spirit which has been kindled on the ruins of the doomed civilization of materialism”.
    Good Bye,
    Demetrios.

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    • Caryn Louise

      Quote: “in Central Europe and in the West NO UNDERSTANDING (as it already happens) for their own spiritual life, …”

      Because they are too busy taking responsibility and propping up inadequate egotist ideology such as your perception of the “doomed civilization of materialism”. But never mind Dem, the meek shall inherit the earth and if you are privileged enough you shall have a flushing toilet.

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      • When Demetrios says, “But you don’t listen…”, this causes me to think we have a political/economic attitude involved here. Just who is not listening?

        Most certainly, Rudolf Steiner pointed to the future destiny of the Russian Folk Soul as expressed in two private lectures to the Russians with the Helsinki lectures, ref. GA136, GA146. Herein, he points out to them how important their future destiny is, and how much it will be opposed by the present-day powers of materialism from the west. This has proven so true if we simply look at the history of 1912 until now.

        In lectures given in May and June of 1915, Steiner further demonstrates just how important the young and developing Russian Folk Soul is being tasked (even then) to the future unfolding of the sixth cultural epoch. So, when we consider what is said in the single lectures, “Christ in Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman”, and “Preparing for the Sixth Epoch”, ref. GA158, we know that a certain advance-guard of the future cultural epoch is already working in the world. This activity began in 1915, and extended when the Russian Revolution took the side of the Bolsheviks in October 1917.

        Then, this advance-guard of the future epoch left their beloved Russia and migrated west into France, and England, and eventually America. So, the Russian Folk Soul is actively working for the good of the Consciousness-Soul age, as we speak. Yet, as Steiner warned, the Russians will be severally oppressed and used by the western powers. This is also very adequately proven by recent history.

        In short, any assessment of the history of the 20th century, which we are all responsible for discerning because we have lived in it, should easily show who the true power players are involved. As such, Russia has been a pawn for many decades by the western forces of materialism and manifest destiny. Even today, just 17 years into the third millennium, it is still a matter of blaming evil Russia for the ills of the present predicament.

        The western whitewash is embodied by the man, Donald Trump, a blatant capitalist, pompous showboat, and utterly lacking in any skills that could truly serve the world. Yet, the world needs to know that this time would come, eventually. It has, and it is of the nature of the final book of the New Testament.

        Steiner gave lectures on it as early as 1908, ref. GA104. Further review indicates it as exact, much like modern exact clairvoyance, the faculty that Steiner would first bring to the world as the future faculty of the human race. He left a legacy in support of its veracity, although this is much opposed, and largely ignored by today’s populace.

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  8. Demetrios is a passionate blogger, but I am not clear exactly what he is talking about when he uses phrases such as ‘pseudo-achievements of the mass anti-culture of Americanism’. I wonder exactly what it is that he has in mind. What IS a ‘pseudo-achievement…’ Demetrios?
    And what is an ‘anti-culture’, other than a culture that you don’t like?
    America has brought many good and wonderful things to the feast of cultural delights, the whole range of music of the last 120 years, the musical theatre and cinema, the development of radio and television serials as an art-form, the culture-changing technology such as that we are using to have this conversation. Traditions of free-speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of religious expression, etc, etc.
    I regard the advent of American culture with all its differences from the european norm as a blessing for all of humanity. It is what will probably lead to the demise of the theocracies which still dominate large parts of the world.
    This does not mean that I support in a wholesale fashion the actions of American politicians, giant American corporations, nor American imperial foreign policy.

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    • Tom, I think that what we are dealing with here is a very political and economically charged person under the guise of the name Demetrios. Using Greece as the scapegoat for certain EU subterfuge from about five years ago, and which Ottmar very adequately defended recently, we are looking at a person who has issues with both Germany and America.

      Britain, on the other hand, has given itself a “whole new ball game” to consider, and only its own constituency can be blamed for that. Theresa May seeks to go forward and form a minority government with the aid of the Democratic Unionists of Ireland. I find that very compelling because of the past history between England and Ireland throughout much of the 20th century.

      But, we live in a very dynamic time of transition, which from the spiritual-scientific standpoint is hardly understood for the simple reason that people do not listen to the signs of the times. Countries like England and Ireland see the need to join forces, and develop a common bond. Scotland sees its aim to become independent as an idle and dangerous risk.

      So, for Theresa May to call this election, when she didn’t have to, should be seen as a very courageous attempt to bring about European unity, whether it is Brexit or remaining united. I like her call for moving forward, whatever the task. It makes me think of Ita Wegman, who also supported such a scheme.

      Steve

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  9. Demetrios Peroulas

    All replies are really marvelous!
    Thank you Caryn, Steve, Tom.
    God bless You.
    Tom, I speak like this because here we’re mostly deluged with the dark side of American Culture. I have nothing against decent America.
    Please, let me give you the following thought-provoking links (in case you haven’t seen them):
    a. http://www.perseus.ch/PDF-Dateien/fundamental.pdf
    b. http://www.perseus.ch/archive/6918
    c. http://4pt.su/en/content/eurasia-special-worldview

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    • This ‘fundamental indication’ (1918, Meyer) does not touch upon the Russian imperialism (Will of Peter the Great), Czarism, Bolshevism, Shamanism, Panslavism, Eastern brotherhoods etc. in Steiner’s later lectures.
      The ‘Present Age’ is plain Russian disinformation (“… Russia Today, the only broadcaster which knows how to resist the western media monopoly successfully.”)
      ‘Eurasia’ is an article by Putin’s dark geopolitical advisor Alexander Dugin.

      1. Easter eggs! Easter eggs! Give to him that begs!
      2. To the poor, open door, Something give from your store!
      3. Those who hoard, can’t afford, Moth and rust their reward!
      4. Those who love freely give, Long and well may they live!
      5. Eastertide, like a bride, Comes, and won’t be denied.
      (Russian song, Oxford Book of Carols)

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      • Demetrios Peroulas

        Dear Ton,
        Thanks for your reply.
        Are you sure that the “TPA” journal is what you say? I don’t know them personally, but I have formed a completely different idea about T.H. Meyer (& Alexander Dugin) as I think they tell the obvious: Russia is under attack by the West and not the opposite…

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      • Demetrios, isn’t Russia’s dark, not quite so innocent side (mafia state, hybrid warfare) very obvious too? E.g. silent occupation of parts of Georgia, Ossetia and Ukrain (Crimea and Donbass), shooting down civilian flight MH-17, 38 political murders of well known journalists and activists (i.e. no freedom of speech and protest).
        Compare with Steiner on the fury of Bolshevism from 1917 onward.

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    • I really resonate with the idea that “whenever two or more are gathered in His Name there is love”. So, I am taking the soft-spot between this post, and Ton’s response, and Caryn’s more didactic entry below. All are equally worthy, and represent a trinity of individual communication style.

      So, where does this place us in terms of what we’re talking about in this particular blog post? This post is about leaving childish and innocent and even very vulnerable tidings behind us as we grow into maturity through the seven-year developmental life cycles. As we grow into adulthood, what takes place?

      Well, according to Saint Paul, we leave behind childish things and become adults, and he remembers what a stinker he was for a few years after Christ was crucified. He was “hell on wheels” in his personal aim to become an exalted pharisee amongst the Sanhedrin council of Caiaphas, who had originated the plot to crucify the Messiah for the good of the Jewish people.

      Caryn’s rendition makes me think of the Gospel of Matthew, in which the Sermon on the Mount is given in nine beatitudes, or Blessings, and this becomes the ninefold church of Christ. Rudolf Steiner would give two very concise lectures about this fact early in the volume GA118. Note: Caryn and I used to discuss these matters very closely in an earlier blog list, which has become a negligible entity today, although it still exists and is offered here.

      Ton might find it useful to consider the migration of Sorath, who first arose in 666 AD, and destined to migrate east to west in the same manner as the Christ experience from 30-33 AD. As such, Christ will always precede Sorath, and this is one of the reasons that present-day Christianity sees so much of the lies that propound in the world today.

      Of course, America is where Sorath has taken root, and this has been demonstrated in any number of prior blog comments on this list. Thankfully, Jeremy does not offer a search service that allows regurgitating past posts for those that are not listening in the first place. This means starting from scratch everyday. And the words get to be new ones.

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      • There is a search facility on the blog home page, Steve, though I think it searches the blog posts rather than the comments. Perhaps someone more experienced with WordPress than I am could let me know whether there is also the possibility to do a search within Comments.

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  10. Caryn Louise

    Dem wrote: “… the ideal I expressed the other day: “Being created in the image of the Holy Trinity means that we are only true persons when there is at least two people in a communion of other-centered love …”

    Yes, when you were a child centered in your mother and father’s love with no ego-consciousness.

    The Development of Mankind

    Old Saturn Evolution
    The first beginnings of the physical body is implanted

    Old Sun Evolution
    The first beginnings of the etheric body is implanted

    Old Moon Evolution
    The first beginnings of the astral body is implanted

    Earth Evolution
    The first beginnings of the Ego is implanted

    Man as he first appeared on Earth:
    1. Physical Body
    2. Etheric Body
    3. Astral Body
    4. Ego

    Attainment in the course of Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan conditions:
    1. Physical Body
    2. Life Body
    3. Astral Body
    4. I, as Soul Kernel
    5. Spirit Self as transmuted Astral Body
    6. Life Spirit as transmuted Life Body
    7. Spirit Man as transmuted Physical Body

    The Ninefold Constitution of Man:

    First Trinity –
    Physical Body
    Etheric Body
    Astral Body

    Interwoven –
    Sentient Soul
    Intellectual Soul
    Consciousness Soul

    Interwoven –
    Spirit Self
    Life Spirit
    Spirit Man

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    • Demetrios Peroulas

      Caryn,
      Thank you so much for your kind and illuminating answer that corrects me.
      You are right, I must have written “Being created in the image of the Holy Trinity means that we are true persons only when there is at least two people WITH EGO-CONSCIOUSNESS (plus the “bodies” we managed & will probably manage to obtain in every cultural epoch) in a communion of other-centered Love…”

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    • Demetrios Peroulas

      I suppose I’m a little bit misunderstood here: when I say “other-centered love”, I don’t mean the love of the child towards his parents. Rather, this orthodox-Christian principle means exactly what Rudolf Steiner’s Fundamental Social Law implies: that (in the Words of Apostle Paul) “nobody to ask for his own, but to work for the OTHER’s benefit” and in this way to build a society worth living in It. This is the true Christian Ego-conscious Socialist Spirit in total contradiction to today’s political-economic plans of those “Pluto-Autocrats” and their vassals who want to subjugate the whole world. So, I expect at least from “western” anthroposophers not to fall prey to the propaganda and machinations of their elites and governments. My intention was to speak about real facts that unmask “the lie with which the West is obliged to live with” and nothing more. I didn’t mean to offend anybody. If I did this, then I ask for your forgiveness.
      Love in Christ,
      Demetrios

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  11. Demetrios Peroulas

    Dear Jeremy and Friends,
    It’s really disappointing (I really felt like being assassinated spiritually) when some people try to eradicate you, for the reason that maybe they don’t agree with what you try to say. This is what I meant by saying that some people in the West and in Middle Europe don’t want to listen to our call from Eastern and South-eastern Europe. Personally, as Demetrios (this is the name I was baptized), a Greek citizen and a student of Anthroposophy, I have no issues at all with nobody. On the contrary, every day that passes, I am, unfortunately, convinced for the opposite…
    In our Athenian anthroposophical group, we arrived at the following conclusions as far as the present world economic crisis and its relation to my earthly country, Greece, is concerned (something I need to share with you, because in the West & middle Europe many speak about us without us and when we dare to speak, look how badly & inhumane, with arrogance and disrespect, they behave to us):
    a. If you are looking at the surface of things, you can easily say that the cause of the crisis was that “Greek people were living beyond their limits”, which was true.
    b. If you search deeper, you will see that the cause was that Greek people were left to be manipulated by their elites and followed the avenue of western materialism, the stairway to … abyss.
    c. But, if you dig much deeper, you will see Michael “using” this (unsolvable) crisis in order to say to the leading peoples of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch: “Metanoeite! Change your minds and follow the (narrow & sorrowful) path of the spiritualization of the Consciousness Soul, the Realization of the Social Threefolding and the Working Together with the Slav Peoples (especially Russia) with the common goal of liberating Mankind from the yoke of Ahriman and thus saving the True Spiritual Goal of the Earth. All other behaviors are preparing for the incarnation of Ahriman, even if you think that you are an anthroposopher because you know Rudolf Steiner’s Archive by heart.”
    Jeremy, forgive me for the length of my reply, but I had to reply.
    Asking for your Compassion & Patience,
    Demetrios Peroulas
    Athens
    Greece.

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  12. Caryn Louise

    Besides being the source of the forces of metamorphosis, the ether body has also changed in itself. In primeval times this ether body was so organised that the human being did not get to know the world in the way he does today; but when through the old Persephone clairvoyance he gazed into the spiritual world he saw pictures of spiritual Beings. Man saw around him a world of images. Of course it was the forces of the astral body which called forth these images, but the astral body would not have been able to see them if it had depended upon itself alone. The astral body does not of itself see images. Just as a man does not see himself advancing unless a mirror confronts him, so the astral body would not see the images it produces if its activity were not so to say reflected back by the ether body. Thus it is the ether body which brings to the point of vision, to perception, the images called forth by the astral body. What man perceives of the goings-on in his own astral body is what is mirrored for him by his ether body. If all our inner astral processes were not reflected by our ether bodies we should of course still have the astral body’s activity within us, but we should not be aware of it, we should not perceive it. Hence the whole picture of the world which the human being makes, the total content of his consciousness is a reflection of his ether body. Whether a man knows anything of the world depends upon his ether body. This was so in the old clairvoyant days, and it is still so today.

    (The Wonders of the World, Ordeals of the Soul, Revelations of the Spirit, Lecture 2, GA129)

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