ANTHROPOSOPHICAL SOCIETY 2017-2018 THEME OF THE YEAR
HOW CAN THE FOUNDATION STONE MEDITATION PROMOTE PEACEABILITY
- A HUNDRED YEARS AFTER THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIAL THREEFOLDING
The Foundation Stone is central to our life as Anthroposophists. A deeply felt connection to it and a thoughtful comprehension of it enriches our lives immensely. Through it we can “…seek to understand what is universally human in us and in others.”*
Through it we strive to truly live, truly feel and truly think. This year’s focus is on “Spirit Recalling”. “Remembering is the central soul activity of the ‘I’.”* Biographical work and practice of the evening review enhance our ability to recall our own past. Through his writings and lectures, Rudolf Steiner has enriched us with vast historical panoramas of humanity’s past.
How do we then individually and collectively come to an understanding of the
time in which we are living? It might be helpful to read what Steiner had to say about our 5th Post Atlantean age in the sixth lecture of The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest.(1)
He refers to the seven Archangels who in turn are regents of the smaller time periods (approx. 3-4 centuries) within each of the seven larger cultural epochs, which again are contained in each of the great epochs - ours being the 5th post-
Atlantean. According to Steiner, “The point in time when the fifth post-Atlantean cultural age began  occurred during the age when the archangel of the fifth shorter age was regent.”*
This 5th archangel was Samael who is connected with the planet Mars.
Steiner continues, “ It makes us sit up and take notice, dear friends, when we hear: The archangel who is in the number five begins his period of regency in connection with the fifth post-Atlantean age with forces emanating from Mars. If an age begins with Mars forces - even quite superficially this is hinted at - then there is something warlike about it. … The catastrophe that will separate
the next great period - the separation between the fifth and sixth period - will show itself more in the moral realm. A war of all against all, about which I have often spoken, will be a moral catastrophe that will separate the fifth from the sixth great period of earth evolution. It will certainly also be connected with events in nature, but these events in nature will be more in the background.”*
Steiner goes on to connect the number five with evil, hence his admonition
that one of our tasks today is to understand the nature of evil. This is the challenge we face today. In light of all this, the Foundation Stone meditation can become our touchstone!
(1) Rudolf Steiner Press, 2008, From notes of
eighteen lectures, conversations and question and
answer sessions in Dornach, Sept. 5-22, 1924.
*All quotes from The Book of Revelation and the
Work of the Priest (see above).
2016/17 Annual Theme for the Year
World Transformation and Self-Knowledge in the Face of EvilWhile the first part of the annual theme 2016/2017 reflects the themes of previous years, the aspect of evil has been newly added. As last year, several authors will expand on the theme of the year.
Dear members and friends, the purpose of the annual theme is to help establish a horizon of awareness for all those who wish to work together on this issue. In doing so they realize a central endeavor of the Anthroposophical Society in that they connect with others and foster the soul life by striving for spiritual knowledge.
One of the core tasks for members of the Goetheanum Leadership is to come to a realistic assessment of the spiritual situation of our time and of the role anthroposophy has to play in it. On this basis we seek to work together and meet our responsibility with regard to the Goetheanum as a School of Spiritual Science. The annual theme arises increasingly from this work. As part of this endeavor we regularly consult with the general secretaries of the larger national societies and this consultation helps us to arrive at a shared orientation and formulation of the theme.