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by Rev Reingard Knausenberger
Each month one of these world views will be expanded.
We often don’t realise that light is not visible. We see it reflected from objects, but by itself it is not visible. We see the moon, a planet, but there is no ray from the sun that shines on it. We can rationally prove that. The rationalist will show through experiments that light is invisible as a self-evident fact.
We also experience light as thoughts and even feelings, yet there is no experiment to prove this light. The only way to prove this inner light to oneself is to develop love for our thinking, not for the content of thinking, but for the activity of thinking itself. Then this activity can be brought into our feeling. In this way, what is at work in it becomes an experience, a perception of an invisible power which expresses itself as light and warmth simultaneously. So there is also invisible light of Spirit.
When Christ came after the Resurrection to his disciples through locked doors into the room, they experienced him as a light-being. He generated original light. But Thomas, the rationalist, wasn’t among them. He needed to prove it to himself: I can only believe if I touch him and see for myself. When he had that opportunity, he immediately had a self-evident experience: this is the One I know, he is my Lord and my God! It was a light experience of comprehension and uplifted enlightenment which encompassed him wholly.
Truth and reality were in symbiosis. Sensory impression and moral meaning were attuned to each other in such superior harmony, that it was a self-evident, self-generating quality: a moment of enlightenment from within.
In the language of Plato, one would say that Thomas encountered the radiant, creating reality of the Idea of the Human Being, in its highest form of being: this is God. Plato compares the Idea of the Good, the most elevated of Ideas, with the sun. Like the sun is the condition for life and seeing, so is the Idea of the Good the condition for existence and comprehension. The quality of Good is identical with God; a meaningful symbiosis which enables knowledge and truth. Seeking and testing the harmonious balance between the cosmic-earthly powers of the Good, both in the visible and invisible aspect, is the real domain of rationalism. It is noteworthy, that this is essentially about inner moral and ethical qualities, which relate in a meaningful, reason-able way to both an outer and an inner reality. Rationalism appeals to the responsibility of the individual to seek within oneself, inwardly, the invisible reality that lives in visible earthly appearance. ‘The Pharisees asked: when will the Kingdom of God come? He answers: the Kingdom of God does not come in an outer visible form. It also doesn’t come in such a way that one can say: look here or see there it is. Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’
(Lk. 17: 20…)
by Rev. Peter Holman
On 15th May Rev. Peter Holman wrote to his congregation: "As we reach the culmination of this extraordinary Easter time and move into the 10 days of Ascension I would like to share some thoughts that will hopefully be helpful as we grapple this year with how to come to terms with the reality of abnormal times for religious worship. These thoughts should serve to deepen a little more our insights into how we can make the receiving of Holy Communion ever more real. This is partly for the remaining weeks of closed churches, and especially for the time when we be able to come to church again, but, for a while, without receiving physical communion. I shall explore ways in which we can all participate more powerfully in the reality of Christ in us, receiving His Body and Blood as medicine that makes whole."
He asks the question: "But how will it be to sit there, without being allowed to come forward to receive Holy Communion?"
In an eight-page letter, Rev. Peter Holman deepens our understanding of the Holy Communion and how we can participate in reality even when we cannot physically receive the transubstantiated bread and wine. The full letter can be read by clicking here.
by John-Peter Gernaat
The period of lockdown experienced in South Africa has induced the community to think of other ways of connecting around the experience of the contemplations that our priests in South Africa have provided to their respective congregation and have been shared with us all. There have been other gatherings that are of importance to our religious life that had to find a new way of taking place. The monthly Reading for Those Who Have Died being one.
The lockdown started on the eve of the scheduled monthly Reading for Those Who Have Died in March. A decision was immediately taken to attempt to hold this important gathering on the online platform Zoom. The format of the gathering is to come together and with the ringing of a bell and the lighting of a candle clearly announce our intention. In the first Zoom gathering, a number of technicalities had to be ironed out before we could focus our attention and intention to our purpose. Each person lit their personal candle and express their own intention and a bell was improvised.
The initial impetus came from Susan Goslett to arrange a Community Gathering on Zoom during Holy Week as a way to help land the experience of connecting at a distance with the Act of Consecration of Man. These gatherings were held an hour after the Act of Consecration of Man commenced and used a format that has been well established in our Community Gatherings when our priest has been absent on a Sunday. Each person lights their own candle and then one person reads the Gospel Reading of the day/week; someone else reads the contemplation provided by a priest; we open the time to share thoughts on the Reading and the Contemplation; someone reads the Creed and we all say the Lord's Prayer together and we then open to a general conversation.
These Gatherings have accompanied the Services in Holy Week, Easter and the weeks following Easter into Ascension and will continue through Whitsun after which Sunday Services will resume. We have continued the Reading for Those Who Have Died online in April and May and Reingard shared the Ascension Epistle, which is seldom heard by the whole congregation because the festival is so short, in a Zoom gathering. We have been joined in these online gatherings by members of our community from as far afield as Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Morgan Bay. The older members of our community have found ways of engaging with this new technology through grandchildren or neighbours to join in the online meetings.
A realisation is emerging that there is great value in connecting with our scattered community using technology and it has a way of uniting us around a common purpose and enables us to share thoughts that we would otherwise never hear when we limit ourselves to in-person gatherings. As lockdown is being eased in South Africa and in-person services resume the use of new technologies will continue to be used to connect our community and retain the sense of gathering as a community for the renewal of the religious life.
When I received notification that one person in our community had achieved something worth sharing, I began to wonder what other people in our community had been up to during lockdown stages 5 and 4. In the following blog posts are the stories that have been shared. Editor
by Terri Gillham
While everyone was in lockdown Terry Gillham decided to help his community of Morgan Bay.
Eventually, the big day arrived and the training was put to the test.
See the full GO! & Express article by clicking here.
by Alexi Kirigin
Alexi has mastered juggling a soccer ball and three tennis balls.
by Eva Knausenberger
It doesn’t matter where I start to tell my thoughts of the past two months, because the experience has been quite multi-layered. Many are better wordsmiths also, but there you are…
I start by naming the issue, which has occupied us all: The Corona virus; a ghostlike insubstantial entity without a life of its own, which seeks entrance into the immune system of the physical bodies in order to unfold a life of its own, at the cost of the host.
I have some authority here because, having had the virus, I know that I was sicker than I have ever been. I know that the wounds it left behind are both physically and mentally debilitating and take a long time to heal. I am equally sure that the damage we caused nature over many decades, both to the life-forces and the physical body of the earth are equally slow to heal; has the earth ever been more in need of healing from the wounds human beings inflicted?
Ascension is a ‘time in between’, between Easter and Whitsun, it takes place between the physical earth, continues into the breathing life-forces surrounding the earth and then Christ disappears ‘into the clouds, leaving the stunned disciples wondering: What just happened? They do not understand.
It is perhaps ironic, for lack of a better word, perhaps also symbolic, that the virus also uses the path ‘between’ people to spread, endangering our physical breathing, digesting and absorbing but also our clear-thinking and will faculties. That is a medical fact. And there are no answers as to why, where from and how. How does one get rid of something as ghostlike and insubstantial as a virus?
In the Samaritan Course Rudolf Steiner pointed out that the human being must be wounded for healing powers to engage, but, he said, the forces in opposition to healing come forth with the same strength. “It is only when we take into ourselves the enlightening, healing power of the Holy Spirit, that we can differentiate between healing forces and forces in opposition to healing and only then can we master both consciously.”
In times when we were isolated from one another, one could have a strong sense that spiritually healing powers emerged strongly like never before, a spiritual, healing, helpful brotherhood of formed, both spiritual and spiritual in nature, but the opposing forces, often quite unobserved, used the time of isolation to polarise, accuse, blame, lie and obfuscate what was already sickening, became more so.
When we consider Rudolf Steiner’s words again “when we take into ourselves the power of the healing Spirit” ... we can also understand that there is no better time than Whitsun to explore the meaning and truth of what healing “the sickness of sin on the bodily nature of mankind” means, than now.
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