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From the General Secretary

Dear Members & Friends

After the “year of Darwin” and tributes to Chopin, unseen alongside us.

Mahler, and other significant individuals recently, it is Serving – through the initiatives of the Society (such

fitting that people around the world will be recognizing as the library, prison outreach, publications, etc.) but also 

2011 as the 150th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner, the lead- more generally in terms of servant leadership and trying to 

ing esotericist of our time. His life accomplishments 
perceive the needs of the time.

continue to amaze both young and old; his work has Deepening – the inner work without which all the 

unfolded in a variety of practical ways, from Waldorf above would not be sustainable. For this we are grateful for 

education to biodynamic agriculture, Camphill commu- the path of personal development, specific meditative 

nities to the arts. Yet one also has a sense that the full exercises, and above all, the School for Spiritual Science 

potential of anthroposophy is yet to be realized, that much which stands as a foundation for renewing spiritual 

remains in seed form, waiting for a more general awaking research.

in human consciousness.
I would like to invite our readers to take up these three 

As part of my preparation for the year ahead, I have aspects, connecting, serving, and deepening as part of the 

been re-reading several biographies of Rudolf Steiner. work ahead for 2011. In my meetings with members, 

There are many accounts from people who knew him. branches and groups in the next months, I intend to also 

Even those outside of anthroposophical circles were deeply ask the question: What is your relationship to the being 

impressed by this extraordinary individual. For example, of Rudolf Steiner? I hope that this opening question will 

Jules Sauerwein, an esteemed journalist for Le Matin, said: spur good conversation and help us take the next steps 

“I have known almost all monarchs on earth, almost all together.

prime ministers and military leaders. But nobody made It is also particularly fitting, given what has been 

such a lasting impression on me as the Austrian philoso- shared in this letter, that the Council has enthusiastically 

pher and occultist Rudolf Steiner. He was the most inter- endorsed a name change for our newsletter. Upon the 

esting man I ever met... However powerful the statesmen recommendation of our talented editor, John Beck, and 

were they always struck me as actors not quite sure of their after a good period of reader and member consultation, we 

parts. But what delight to talk politics with Steiner. Only have taken the bold step to put our ideals front and center: 

so great and all-embracing an intellect is able to penetrate being human. This header goes to the core of anthropos- 

individual problems so correctly.” (Rudi Lissau, Rudolf ophy yet is accessible to a variety of readers. It is also a 

Steiner, p. 48)
statement of our ongoing search for the universal human 

Lisa Monges, a founding member of the School of in a world so often divided by politics and strife. May the 

Eurythmy in Spring Valley and the person who sponsored ideal of being truly human spur us on to overcome our 

me for membership in the Anthroposophical Society (after imperfections and find unity in our common striving.

years of mowing her lawn!) often told me stories of sitting 
With best wishes for a commemorative year 2011,
at the dinner table with Rudolf Steiner: his warmth, 
Torin M Finser
humor, insight and deep interest in every human being. 
General Secretary, Anthroposophical Society in America
Thus it is particularly fitting for this time that the General 

Council has been working with three guiding principles: 

Connecting – with other human beings, members, friends, 

groups and branches, and spirit seekers working often

first issue 2011 • 3

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