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Town Meeting | November 19, 2021

Updated: December 6, 2021

Dear BACWTT Students, Alumni, Friends and Colleagues,

Here is the Calendar of the Soul, looking back over the past week.

Calendar of the Soul
Verse 31

Can I discern true being,
That it may find itself again
In the souls creative urge?
I feel that power is granted me
Modestly to join myself
As member to the Self of Worlds.


Así ahora siento al mundo,
Que al faltarle la comunión con mi alma
Sería solo vida vacía congelada
Mostrándose sin fuerza
Para recrearse en las almas,
Pues en si encontraría solo muerte.

We should look back to last weeks verse to pick up the thread as we are moving towards midwinter and moving through the period of Advent in the Christian tradition.
Last week the verse expresses something of our connection and dependence upon the Earth—
”forces of the world—pour themselves in my life’s work—root me in existence”

was the interconnectedness of the human and the world—the ground out of which all human experience and endeavor takes place and returns.
This week the verse expresses that “at last” I can feel the worlds reality. The incarnating process, of
coming more to ourselves through the autumn process leads us to a firm place of experiencing
the world.

These existential thoughts are at the heart of Anthroposophy and out of them Waldorf education
exists as a place to nurture a will in the young to tackle them, to imagine a future with this thought
about the positive interconnectedness of human and world, human and nature as the paradigm.

I think the ancient peoples and Indigenous cultures knew about and cultivated this relationship to
the world. Their beliefs and festivals sought to place of the human being into the right relation to
the bigger picture. The idea in the verse this week can be felt as foolish or egotistical when we see
how harmful human beings are—and this is certainly true of the present time. It was different in the
past and we can only hope that we take it to heart and that it will be true again in the future.

As modern human beings we have developed into and now have become used to a strange
condition of soul:
On the one hand we cannot do without our technology and the products of industry, we don’t
know how to live without them. We believe that we have little choice but to continue down the
rabbit hole of making more manufactured goods, developing better and faster devices.
On the other hand we experience the harm our way of life, our industry, food production, byproducts and waste does to the planet and nature and we don’t know what to do about it—it is apparently too enormous for us to have an impact.

We are caught in a trap of our own making! These things are not necessarily true—only that we
feel them and perhaps believe them.

The Pacific Ocean Plastic Island

Sage built the picture of the importance of the circle in which the children see each so that they discover that they are in it together, that they can teach and learn from each other as well as from the adult, that the circle of connection holds them and from there they can sense that they are a small circle within the ever widening circles of people and the world.

The ancient Bighorn Medicine Wheel, located in Bighorn National Forest near Sheridan, WY, is a national historical
landmark and a sacred site It has 28 spokes radiating form the center and aligns with solstice sunrise and sunset and
the rising locations of the three brightest stars.

“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation; and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion.

Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the Earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.

The life of a man is a circle from childhood-to-childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tipis were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.”            Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux

When we try to understand the expression of the verse this week, “ it gives me to the world” we are missing a part of the picture—the place from out of which I am given. The indigenous American conception of the circle as something that holds all life and embraces all beings can help us to understand this place. It is out of such a place that I am given to the world.

Steiner uses the word “fruition” to connect this thought to a plant image, something that as been growing and maturing through a long process and now is able to set the seed of this process free,  on an independent journey.

We are lacking somewhat in our contemporary culture the imagination of the place and process where we have been growing –plant like—towards this act of independence. This effects our sense of stepping into the world within a context—of nature, human endeavor, of history, of fellow human beings, culture.

The first and the last parts of the verse should bend around and unite to create a circle, a circular motion:

Kenneth Smith
Director, BACWTT

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