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June 28, 2011
Focus for this issue:
News & Events
Camphill Foundation grants were announced a few days ago (press release and background) and picked up in a number of papers. These remind us that Camphill is not just "special needs"; it is a force in community, in land stewardship and biodynamic agriculture, and — as their gathering earlier this year reminded us — on "being human in the 21st century."
Lilipoh has been successfully stewarded over some years into a handsome, informative, successful magazine. What next? The Chinese edition. Just beautiful! — And more or less on cue, the English-language China Daily presents a substantial article on "Educating the whole child."
Weleda is 90 years old. The happy occasion has included a meeting with doctors, as promised at the General Anthroposophical Society's annual meeting in April, who are concerned that the company is not keeping anthroposophical drugs available. NNA gives a detailed report on the conversation.
Events: If you assumed that Virginia Sease's celebration week for Rudolf Steiner at the Center for Anthroposophy's Renewal Courses was totally filled weeks ago, you might quickly check on that (it starts July 3). And no, "renewal" is not just for teachers. — An already full summer has more impressive events added to the calendar. In New York City the big and busy NY Open Center has added two week-long courses on "The Essential Steiner" and "The Art of Waldorf Education." — In Viroqua, Wisconsin, Dennis Klocek gives five lectures on Sacred Agriculture, July 29-30. — Keep scrolling down to August which is equally full with such things as a Class Conference and a Mystery Drama Conference. — Also check your region: Central -- Eastern -- Western -- or locations outside the USA. And save October 14-16 for the national Fall Conference "The Vision of Rudolf Steiner" in Portland.
The Un-Beating Heart
Last E-News' mention of the installation of twin rotors as an artificial heart (x-ray left) stirred quick reactions. Caron Scanlan's family business supplied surgical instruments for the first heart transplant many years ago in South Africa. She was immediately recalling Ralph Marinelli's work. In 1991 he co-authored "Torsional Ventricular Motion and Rotary Blood Flow". In 1995, with William Marinelli and three others, he published an excellent paper, "The Heart is Not a Pump: A Refutation of the Pressure Propulsion Premise of Heart Function." It has Steiner's indications, considerable history, and careful demonstrations. But is the heart just a different kind of pump? A hydraulic ram? The title of a third Marinelli article on anthromed.org with Dr. Ana Lups of Pleroma Farm, who trained as a cardiologist, asserts: "The Heart: Three Perspectives - not a pump, not a ram, but a living organism..." The point is to think it through for ourselves, as Frank Chester did.
Something Ominous in the Air
The risks of cell phone use finally broke into public discussion in recent months. But that's only part of the problem of swimming in EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies). Is our energetic atmosphere of radio waves involved in burn-out and chronic fatigue syndrome and higher degrees of exhaustion, depression, anxiety, listlessness? Kim Black on Reality Sandwich researches possible effects, including damage to the finer endings of the nerves. There are links to follow and many comments.
It’s all-American and how we do our food for every holiday from May to September: barbeque (aka BBQ). "George Washington, a notoriously terse diarist, actually recorded all the barbecues he attended or hosted. For example, the entire entry for August 4, 1769, reads: 'Dined at the Barbicue with a great deal of other Company and stayd there till Sunset.'" Felisa Rogers at Salon researches the grill, the smoke, the outdoors, and the effect some of us can’t get enough of. With a recipe for sauce, of course.
"When you work with the cycles of nature, you respect its fragility and understand the need for sustainability." Education for social responsibility needs to begin when young people are forming ideas like consumption and food choice. Ronni Sands has been teaching a course in sustainable agriculture to 9th and 11th graders in California, and shared her work in Lilipoh a few years ago.
BD in the News, Constantly
Biodynamic farms, vineyards, food, and values continue to generate lots of news. Quite a bit is wine-centered, but highly articulate as in this Washington Post article on sustainable, organic, biodynamic. The cows of Seven Stars Farm get big coverage in The Mercury, which somehow sounds appropriate. The Indianapolis Star features "Rising Star: Matt Ewer," whose "'farmers' market on wheels' delivers organic fruits, vegetables and other grocery items to about 4,000 customers a week around Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., among other cities." And Reuters gives Queen of the Sun a warm embrace: "There's a lovely balance between scientific explanation and emotional advocacy in the film..."
Youth: New Cultural Creatives at Work?
Carol Sanford writes, in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, that "growing numbers of young people are making an about face—turning their backs on working for 'the man' and creating their own ventures. This poses some challenges, but it’s working extremely well for many people 30 and younger: more meaning, more creativity, and sometimes close to the same or better money than they were about to settle for." So NextGenNow leaders are experiencing and transforming their potentially jobless circumstances into freeing, creative and innovative career paths, embracing the challenge of the times and merging their search for meaningful work with their needs to pay the bills. Is this creative and intensifying individuation a mark of the new Cultural Creatives?
There is The Majestic Plastic Bag mockumentary featuring Jeremy Irons’ narration. Had you considered the plastic bag as a living thing, moving through the wild?
And David writes, "Thanks for the music videos. Here's a favorite of mine, Utah Green, 'Splendid Sun.' The lyrics inspire a very interesting meditation, as do most of Utah' s songs." From the lyrics: "It is certainly a lovely thing to breathe... I am... You are... We are... the world."
Anthroposophy in America E-News