The themes of reincarnation and Christ were important to Michel as a teenager. He found the address of the Anthroposophical Society in Paris when he was 17 or 18. He went there and met an elderly woman, telling her he wanted to find the book “Initiation.” “Are you sure?” she responded.
At his first Moon Node, he found himself at the Goetheanum. A young German girl had recommended the trip, and she knew the head of the restaurant. Michael found a job cleaning the Goetheanum and worked on the Mystery Dramas. He lived in the chimney area of the Heizhaus, the boiler house.
As a student in France, Michael wanted to go to the Himalayas, as he was interested in Tibetan Buddhism. He hitchhiked from Paris to Katmandu, traveling through Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Michel wanted to see the spirit from an anthroposophical point of view.
We asked Michel what he loves about anthroposophy, and he said “pedagogy and philosophy.” He described how anthroposophy was in the sky, but then was a discovery that this work was of the earth as well. It had to incarnate from cosmic spheres. Michel is also greatly interested in social work. He is planning a trip to Italy to speak on training for a three-year course on biography, cosmography, social art, and research.
Speaking about the work of Willi Sucher and Guenther Wachsmuth, Michel said that he used to have an antipathy toward astrology, but he overcame it and took up a study of the subject through the work of Rudolf Steiner. He has taken a particular interest in karma and esoteric development. It is a golden law, Michel said, that if one does something in the social world, he must also work on himself.
Michel suggested that there are three main points that are quite important in anthroposophy:
1. Anthroposophists must learn to work together. He mentioned that there are often struggles between teachers in Europe that could be overcome by this commitment to working together. He suggested that people study Rudolf Steiner’s karma lectures, considering the different streams. The ideas must fire in the heart, not just in the brain!
2. We must be open to the different currents (streams), including non-anthroposophical currents. If we are on the right level anthroposophists and non-anthroposophists should be able to communicate in meaningful ways. It is a matter of freedom and love, of truth, of compassion.
3. We must not be so dogmatic with Rudolf Steiner. It would be dangerous to know who he is now. He must be free.
What is Michel’s work now? He has found a castle of the Templar era, and it is called Montaphilant . Most of his energy now is working to build this space into the future for the works of Anthroposophy and spirit in the world. We were not able to meet there as we had such short time and had to catch the train in order to arrive in Dornach before nightfall, but we definitely hope to in the future. There are lectures as well as housing available, and it is soon to be a place that Steiner students can call home while in France. In 2014, Montaphilant will become a place of anthroposophical activity, having been developed over the course of 12 years of research. The objectives of the courses that will take place there are very practical: They will develop learning processes for trainees that they can take up independently in any situation and in all areas of life. These processes forge paths to fertilize activity (professional or otherwise) from spiritually creative and anthroposophical impulses.
Anthroposophy must be transformed in oneself, Michel said. It is a process of metamorphosis, of individualization. It requires association and brotherhood. The Universities, he said, are a social art process. The young people are few in anthroposophy.
Michel also spoke about Ahriman, saying that he is incarnated now. The Internet is the body of Ahriman, Michel suggested. The young people are contemplative prisoners of the Ahrimanic body, and we must open avenues in which they can meet spirit in the world through consciousness.
We must open our hearts. It is most important to be present. What is the wonder of the meeting? Wow! What a contemplation, and one that speaks to our whole journey! In the Ruckschau exercise, we should find three treasures, but difficult ones. We must meet the dragon before the treasures. In this process of Ruckschau, we model the astral body to bring the right forms to the angels in sleep. They need food from us, nourishment. The food we give could be poison if we don’t work on our astral bodies.
Michel also spoke of the importance of previewing the day ahead. If we are taking up the daily exercises, we should meditate on the quality of the day, visualizing what is needed. We could imagine meeting the most difficult person we have to face. How will we move through this encounter, working out of the quality we are striving to embody? The practice of Right Action calls forth the French term “Juste,” which has to do with balance. We must find the middle. This suggestion for us was a most important gift offered by Michel, and we took it to heart for the future considerations of our work.
What is anthroposophy to Michel? “Anthropos Sophia of course” It is the transformation of Isis and Osiris. The first attack was against the spiritual man (Osiris), and the second attack was against the soul (Isis). We now have to resurrect Isis in ourselves, leading toward the Sophia. The Templar Knights and their sacrifice towards the good are of great significance in this work. Michel was born in the city of the Templars and has a deep connection to the new Isis. We must connect Isis Sophia with the Virgin Maria.
What does Michel love? He loves to meet people, and he loves life! It is sometimes difficult, but there are forces to liberate you. We also asked Michel what questions he is carrying. 20 to 30 years ago, many souls were coming to earth from the Michael School, but the anthroposophical organization was not ready to receive them. There was a need to bring something else through, something very new.
We must take up the art of living, of doing, thinking, and feeling. We must become sculptors, artists of the astral body… like the angels do it. It is time for a new way to open for young people.
Michel has been a part of the Anthroposophical Society since 1965 and is a member of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science. He says it is important for the Vorstand to work harmoniously together with one another and with the whole community. If it doesn’t, the Society could become the very enemy of anthroposophy itself. Standing at the 100 year anniversary, Michel holds the question of the transformation of the stone of knowledge into a real stone of the earth, of love.
How can more brotherhood, freedom, and equality come through the practice of the Foundation Stone Meditation? Each person could become a Goetheanum, in full humility and not out of pretension.
Throughout our conversation, we were joined by the very fun, energetic, and encouraging waiters when a word here or there was needed in translation. Afterwards, Michel took us through the city to see the local Saint Chapelle and landmarks of an age that hold deep meaning for the Templar community. We found ourselves in a church while Michel waited on the bench. So beautiful it was walking through and seeing the magnificent pieces of art and the sculpture work of artists from centuries ago! Michel was so enthusiastic in his step as he guided us through the crowds to the places he thought we might like to see! He encouraged us to go on further to the Templar Bridge and Michael, and so we parted with so much joy and appreciation for who he is and what he has to offer this Society and community as a whole. It was so fabulous of him to join with us for conversation over espressos.
It was a very touching meeting to see this man who has worked all his life to help uplift and to hold open the possibility of Anthroposophy in the world as a deed coming forth for the future as we headed toward Dornach for the 100th anniversary of the laying of the Foundation Stone.