Written by David Leighton

Of course, we all know the story. Jews and Anthroposophists, most were both, fled for their lives, not just as individuals, who wanted to protect themselves, but as a group with a mission. The mission: to foster the health and dignity of a group who were often thought of as less then human. A group who were targeted as unfit for life. Worthy only of annihilation.

The year 2020 has presented us with high drama almost from the very beginning. I’m writing from United states of America, the land that set a precedent for the world in 1776 with a Declaration of Independence proclaiming “All men (human beings) are created equal.” As Thomas Jefferson wrote this line, he was the owner of hundreds of slaves. Was this statement his hope, his intention/incentive for the future? A future United States, without chattel slavery? Or was he not able to hear his pangs of conscience because his comfort and the economic well-being for the new country deafened him. Deafened him to the truth, the fact, that a group of human beings were not free, stripped of their humanity.

The virus has brought pain, fear, suffering, and death, in some cases. This has been a profound tragedy. Yet, this ‘pandemic’ pain and fear presents a long-needed gift, a door opened, and confirmed the truth: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

The need to live this truth becomes more urgent by the minute.

When, in the United States the killing of Mr. Floyd, an African American, was perpetrated by the force of a white police officer’s knee, a door opened. A door that has revealed the possibility to take another step in making this ‘founding’ statement become a reality. More people have become less deaf. (For a more complete understanding of the ongoing ramifications of African slavery in the U.S. watch the movie “13th.”)

In our world the most important thing is not wealth and power of the individual, rather the humanity of the individual.

Everywhere on earth, en masse or as individuals we run the risk of not being ‘seen’ as ‘I.’ Our humanity is ever more at stake, at risk in our ’virtual world.’ So, what does the dignity of the human being mean? To me it means that we are all spiritual beings come to earth to inhabit physical bodies. According to our Anthroposophical thought, we need these physical bodies to evolve ourselves as spiritual beings. The earth, also a spiritual being, needs our deeds which play a major role in its evolving or devolving. In the ideal, when we play our role of interest in, and awareness of, the other, care for the earth follows naturally, the pollution declines. When we care for each other we do not need weapons of mass destruction. When we care for each other we meet the ‘I,’ the spiritual, in the other. To meet this ‘I’ in the other I need my ‘I.’ The road to this ideal is long and arduous, but aren’t we here to walk this road? If this is true my most important task is to develop my ‘I’ to meet the ‘I’ in you and all will follow.

Is this the same as: “love one another as I have loved you?”

Our theme for the Bible readings this year is healing. Healing means wholeness. Wholeness is truth, wholeness is balance, the circle is whole, wholeness is love. It’s Michaelmas. This is our focus. Yet, Michael is not alone, from through the earth, as it were, Raphael brings the spring, the Resurrection, new life. Gabriel brings birth, deep inward searching. Uriel brings change and conscience, fire of life. Michael, courage, action, diversity (the gift of variety). This is a circle, a wholeness.

Our community is a circle, a wholeness. The circle maintains its wholeness, its life through communication, sharing, interdependence, awareness of the individual. I am whole in the moments when I live out of the truth of my spiritual/physical Wholeness.

Love and Blessings on your journey through the Michaelmas Time: Activate Truth!

Painting by John Singer Sargent, a white painter. To do this painting was a radical event in 1920. I call the painting “Suffering Humanity, With Hope.” It is a detail of Sargent’s “Thomas McKeller” in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.