About the section work in the Netherlands

The Dutch section has worked on several subjects in the past few years. We continuously immersed ourselves with:

1.  An anthroposophical esthetic based on Goethe’s notion that art is the most appropriate means to unlock the worlds secrets and disclose them.

2: The matter of how our stance towards language is being influenced as a result of the frequent use of computers, the internet, our cellphones, Ipads; and what consequences this will have for the written and spoken word.

3: The myth of the new Isis. What impression of the coming period will be outlined here and what is required of us people?

Currently, we are studying the Logos and the importance of the Logos in the era of the consciousness soul. The members of the section propose the angles from which we can approach the Logos. Furthermore organizing language workshops is an important activity that the section engages itself in.  Since 2016 the Section for Humanities in Holland has organized ‘Language Workshops’ throughout the country, since 2020 also specifically for the Waldorf teachers in Holland. In the Language Workshop we focus upon the spiritual dimension of language in all its facets, founded by Rudolf Steiner in his Geisteswissenschaftliche Sprachbetrachtungen (GA 299) and extended by Frits Burger (a member of the group) in his ‘The flow of Speech’ (Linguarhei): finding the inner side of the word. With the help of many exercises from eurythmy, speechformation and Linguarhei the participant treads an initiatory path form playing with words via language acquisition, grammar, the alphabet to meditations on the Logos and the future of language. These courses are being organized by Marieke Cooiman.

Alongside common endeavors, the members of our group are engaged in numerous matters.

Research on the relationship between the Christ and the Sophia
Danielle van Dijk published (and is still publishing) on this subject. She also discusses the following question: how can we constitute a culture of the heart? Moreover, she offers meditation courses for young people.

Making the language of fairy tales accessible through the ‘four layers method’
Rita Veenman publishes fairy tales and verses for junior classes. She also offers courses about fairy tales.

The classical culture of Hellas
Karel Post Uiterweer publishes a book on this subject, named ‘Kalokagathon’. The book is about the impulses that were brought into this world by the mysteries (namely from Delhi). Karel also lectures on this topic.

Study and research in the field of the esthetics, also known as ‘new esthetics’ or ‘esthetics of the future’
These concepts can very well summarize what is mostly recognized as characteristic design impulses in cultural expressions, which arise from Goethe’s approaches, mostly elaborated on in anthroposophical explanations and artistic expressions. Some core questions derive from this: what is the characteristic dynamic of the consciousness soul, as well as the to be developed soul stance of the modern formation of culture and society? What is the stylistic form of the consciousness soul and what does it take for it to manifest itself? Why is modern man – without developing this stylistic form – just to a limited extent able to shape her or his meditative access and their dealings with life processes?

Approach poetry by studying and writing poems
This wider term „Dichtung”, we focused into poetry and verse. From the complete observation of the present moment, the world can become knowable. In poetry you can try to give words to the connection between cosmos, earth and this observed moment. In poetry, the observed is given meaning through sound and rhythm, this becomes a creative activity. In doing so, beauty („das Schöne”) can arise. Therefore, the language can break from its daily meaning. And by that, language can become an instrument for the rendition, to enter into the words of man, elements, and earth. It is an instrument to enter into the word.

"Orpheus audible  
in a dewdrop on the morning flower
in your tears,
or in the bubble of air
in that ice core of the melting glacier."

This topic is in the hands of Caty Weitenberg.

The attitude of the consciousness soul is independence. Being cut off from the past is particularly striking. Thereby, an individual access to the spiritual field is given. As a result, the higher consciousness levels ‘imagination’, ‘inspiration’ and ‘intuition’ occur in daily life and in the own biography. The intended esthetic aspect, the style and design issue, will become relevant in its relation to, and mobilizing of imagination, inspiration and intuition. When this happens, new abilities will arise in the area of diagnosis, interpretation and/or to distinguish. These skills are needed when taking initiatives and further developing and renewing the culture. Boudewijn van Sluijs works on this subject.

Roel Adam is a part of the section as well. He is a playwriter and actor and used to work in the youth theatre. He is aware of the inadequacy of language and namely interested in the question marks that words call for, the silences in the dialogue and the stammering of the benevolent speaker. His field of work is not an area of research, it is a playground. Currently, he makes an attempt to dramatize (a part of) the Edda.

 In the last year we also have given the esoteric hours a place in our consultation. We want to relate the content of the hours to the section work. We are looking for this, but we are also enthusiastic. We notice that discussing parts of the mantras provides much discussion and that it enriches our thinking about cultural expressions. We see a lot of potential in this link and we will certainly continue with this joint research.

The section has also given literature a more prominent place in our consultations. Together we develop a method for looking at books and exchanging reading experiences.

Marieke Cooiman