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Methods of spiritual perception in Nordic nature
Dirk Kruse, Dorian Schmidt, Frank Burdich, Manfred Schleyer, Christine Sutter
Summer Week “Spiritual Ecology” – What is it about?
Natural science is in deep crisis today; destruction of the environment and audio-visual assaults on the individual’s mind and heart express a fundamental lack in our understanding of the ‘living’. Without the connection to nature, including nature in us, science becomes sterile and narrow-minded; more and more susceptible to being manipulated, by things such as short-sighted economic interests.
Is science today travelling to its own end; dogmatically barren and intolerant to the pure sensorial perception of nature, which was once the very base and source of inspiration for its culture-forming power? Can we get it back on track – a track where wonder, questioning and self-reflection are guiding the researcher? Should we venture to the sources of western fascination for science and nature research; a walk to the ‘Mater Materia’?
For the druids and hiberno-scottish monks this was the path of their initiation: standing upright through wind and weather, recognizing themselves as part of the creative resistance of yet unfinished evolutionary powers in nature. With this path of knowledge as a background, the celtic-christian monks built the first sun crosses and churches in the land of the Viking – a long time before the pope’s envoys could gain a foothold. Ireland-Scotland in the north of western Europe and Norway in the west of northern Europe, they are culturally bound together, sharing rough, almost overwhelming forces of nature. To what extent can this experience and knowledge of nature actually be accessible to modern consciousness, as part of an inner training in consciousness? If a ‘baptism through the elements’ might be possible, no place could be better than on the Island Iona… – and between the Fjell and Fjord in Norway: In the elementary forces of the bedrock and the water, in the exuberance of light – everywhere one can feel invited to experience nature in it’s spiritual, living-being essence. Imaginations and inspirations are as if spread out in the landscape, sometimes accentuated here and there by stave churches.
The perception of nature in Scandinavia has found a very fertile ground – one that hasn’t been ploughed yet! How can we proceed from here?
Rudolf Steiner’s specific suggestions regarding the development of the Nordic folk culture and spiritual ecology are at hand. There have also been significant initiatives like the seminars given by Jochen Bockemühl and Hans-Christian Zehnter and the ‘School of Nature’ among other things with a first seminar on research of formative forces by Dorian Schmidt, but also an anthology ‘Spirituell Økologi’ and dialogues with the deep ecology of Arne Næss.
Since 2015 a number of courses for empathic observation of nature and spiritual ecology have taken place. Antje and Dorian Schmidt have given important impulses; a regular training for the study of formative forces (Empathic Food Testing and nature observation) is now underway.
The summer week ‘Methods of Spiritual Perception’ aims to continue this work – in a laid back, dialogic, summer-holiday atmosphere: under the wide sky and in open perception, with a big heart and focussed thoughts. Five qualified specialists of the spiritual research of nature will take part in working groups and plenum discussions: Dirk Kruse, Dorian Schmidt, Frank Burdich, Christine Sutter, Manfred Schleyer.
The summer week invites participants to learn how to ‘read in the book of nature’ with artistic, soulful precision, at an open-air retreat in Oslo and surrounding areas. If you wish to live the experience a little longer, we invite you to accompany us on the subsequent hiking week dedicated to the soul of the landscape through the mountains, from Fjord to Fjord.
* We would also like to inform you of another associated initiative: the Summer School Iona, 9th – 15th July 2016: www.summerschool-iona.org