The Anthroposophical Society’s Annual Motif for 2018/2019
The second verse of the Foundation Stone Meditation is the Anthroposophical Society’s theme for the year. This verse refers us to the human middle, the feeling and the element of time, and it is related to the Christ being. It takes us into the element of rhythm and movement. Living in rhythm, we find ourselves placed into a wider cosmic context described by Rudolf Steiner as the «wonderful enigma prevailing between the lungs and the heart». What happens within us, microcosmically, has its equivalent in the macrocosm, where we experience «how the cosmic rhythms are active through the millennia, through the aeons of time, how they powerfully enter into the rhythm of our pulse and blood and awaken in us an ensouled experience of the world.»

The number of breaths we take in a day (around 25,920) corresponds to the number of years of one great solar cycle in the Platonic world year. What an exciting thought – that as we breathe we resonate with the rhythms of the cosmos and that we are even enlivened by these rhythms! In the cosmic rhythms «the Christ Will encircling us holds sway». It is this will that bestows grace on our souls and creates life out of death.

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 [1413] 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).