Leaving Boulder, we traveled a short distance and began looking for lodgings, having slept enough short nights in the car and ready for showers. Hotel after hotel was booked, so we kept driving, finally stopping for the night in Idaho Springs, CO. The 6 & 40 Motel gave us our first full night’s rest and in a bed in about a week! In the morning, we woke up to find a rippling stream and green mountains just outside our door. Before getting on the road, we stopped for gas at the local Sinclair station, which appeared to have been unchanged for the last 30 or so years. We stood perplexed about what to do, and a man beckoned us forward from the station window. “First you pump. Then you pay.” It still took us a little longer to catch onto the simplicity. We could have spent longer in this quiet little town, but we had to keep moving. With a twinkle in her eye, Dottie was eyeing the parcel of land that she would live upon. It all started when she wandered out by that stream.
This next leg of our journey was truly beautiful as we passed through Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. We drove through forests, mountains, and deserts. How did men cut through those mountains like they did?! We were amazed to travel through his terrain, pondering the mystery and majesty of America.
As we came closer to Las Vegas, we could see bolts of lightning in the distance. The sky darkened to the Southwest, while there was still a brilliant light behind us. Approaching the city, we saw storms ahead with sheets of rain streaming down in isolated patches of sky. We planned to meet E. Christopher Carolan and decided to make our way closer in to the city before stopping to check our bearings. Guessing at an exit, we happened to choose a spot just five miles from him. Just then, we received a message from Christopher saying that that county was under a flood warning and that he would understand if we needed to keep going. The employees of the McDonald’s where we stopped for the restroom were mopping rainwater out of the door. The worst seemed to have passed and we had come all that way, so we stayed on in Las Vegas to meet our friend.
Christopher told us we would find him on the bench outside of his apartment beside the neon lights. He wasn’t kidding. Those lights were bold and flashing! What else would you expect in Las Vegas? We came in really late and picked him up for a second dinner, getting to see a little bit of the rain-soaked, brightly lit city. He told us this was the first storm to come through in the eight weeks since he had moved to the area, but he figured Dottie Zold was coming so he wasn’t surprised. To us, the storm and the darkness seemed fitting somehow for such a city, and that Christopher would be here fighting the devil himself was not a surprise.
Christopher has an interesting biography in anthroposophy: He first encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner when he was a 21 year old college student, and his roommate, Mark Darling, brought home a copy of Steiner’s How to Know Higher Worlds that he had picked up from the pizza guy and then bought a copy of Theosophy. Christopher then bought his own copy of HTKHW and worked with it for several years thereafter—a sure indication of the depth of his engagement with the material. Now 42, Christopher has studied anthroposophy physically on his own since that time, engaging with others around the world and building connections online. Following Mark Darling, we were the second and third anthroposophists he has met in person!
Christopher works in accounting, so we were interested to know of any ideas he might have to build a healthy economy. He told us about an impulse called LETS (local exchange trading system), a community enterprise in which members exchange goods and services using a mutual credit system. A member can offer a service such as carpentry and receive credit within the system to be used for something else later on.
Anthroposophy for Christopher is a fabulous life philosophy. But you shouldn’t worship it, he says. He has taken Steiner’s advice to live with the research arising out of anthroposophy without judgment and see how it sits in his life. From his experience, he has not been able to test everything, but that which he has, he has only been able to prove right, never wrong. He also appreciates that Steiner was able to tie all world religions together in a comprehensive picture.
A true and deep researcher, Christopher takes his work in hand. He wants to experience and know the forces Steiner described—those within himself and those in the world. After a lifetime in Michigan, Christopher decided to move to Las Vegas to meet and expose his own double. Yes, to meet and expose his own double! Instead of just reading about the double or reading about Ahriman, he is ready to take them on. If we are going to overcome them, we must know them, he contends. Still, Christopher speaks with humility and keeps himself in check. He was not too proud to share about his poker losses, his relationship heartbreaks, or his inner battles.
Christopher is ready to stand in the battle! We asked him what question he holds that we can help him carry forward. He went straight to the battlefield: What are we looking at with the incarnation of Ahriman? Where is Ahriman?! How can we make sure that we move forward with consensus about what we are looking for? Is he incarnated? Is he not incarnated? Christopher wants to know! He feels like the consciousness of mankind is darkening, and he wants to see people come together across the movement to uplift it. To do so, we need a common picture. This is this real work for Christopher. He wants to see Anthroposophy grow and wants to make it as accessible as possible.
He also asked, “What is the real face of anthroposophy? Is it an intellectual pursuit or more of a community dance?” Most important is love, pure love. “Even evil,” Christopher shared, “just wants to be loved.” Can we love everyone we meet and truly live in morality? Christopher also raised a question about our relationship to the dead. How are we working together?
Toward the end of our conversation, we asked Christopher if he would help us hold a picture of threefolding moving forward. He was both honest and generous in stating that, while he does not know how it could come about, we had asked the right question. He agreed to help us hold the picture. He will take it with him into his sleep. Thank you, Christopher! To know that there is someone with a heart like Christopher’s with a deep desire for brotherhood and ready to go to work encourages us greatly.