Today we drove to Santa Barbara with Christine Burke to meet with the Helen Hecker group, which was the second anthroposophical study group founded in the United States. We were met with such warmth and openness as we gathered together for lunch and conversation with this lovely group of ladies. This meeting will serve as a beautiful foundation for the rest of our trip. We felt so welcome!
As we shared our questions about moving the work of Rudolf Steiner further out into the world, our sentiments were echoed with “It feels time, very time. It feels now!” This group brings depth and enthusiasm with an interest in strengthening the work of their community in widening circles. We felt their great striving, care, and love for this work. We were deeply touched!
Several questions and considerations came forward from our time with this lovely Helen Hecker group:
How can we take anthroposophy out into the world? This younger generation seems to call for a different approach than in the past. Perhaps there are younger speakers in the movement who can present peer-to-peer with a new energy. Anthroposophy has so much to offer. There are practical initiatives, such as the work with the bees, that have wide appeal. (The group recently watched the documentary, Queen of the Sun, and one member took up beekeeping soon afterward.)
Some further considerations were that when we speak of sharing our work in anthroposophy, we must not speak of it as if we’re separate. What I am is what I bring. The “what I can teach you” attitude creates a separation when we must build a connection. The Consciousness Soul speaks in all languages, and Anthroposophia is alive in people all over the world, even if they don’t know the word.
There is a strong interest in having an anthroposophical doctor in Santa Barbara. How can this be achieved? The group can imagine a café or place for events to be held in the community. A conversation that could come forward is “What is your relationship to the Christ?” A member who was not able to be with us today carries a strong interest in considering our work with friends who have crossed the Threshold.
We discussed working with the daily exercises and establishing healthy community agreements such as a commitment to no gossip in our communications. We were able to share a bit about threefold initiatives such as Travis Henry’s work and the second lecture of Steiner’s Inner Aspect of the Social Question, which we are sharing with others on our journey.
In our great love and appreciation for the dedicated work of James Stewart, our e-librarian, we asked this group to consider creating a book of gratitude for him. They answered with a booming YES!, and the book will soon travel cross-country with us where friends will get a chance to share their thoughts with him, to be gifted to James when we reach Michigan.
This wonderful group of striving individuals would love to welcome new members, and they would love to connect to those taking up other aspects of anthroposophy such as Waldorf Education and biodynamic agriculture.
These ladies generously offered contributions to help us with fuel costs for our next destination. A tremendous thanks goes out to these friends! Over and over again, we heard the resounding call for a DONATE BUTTON!! online so that others can pitch in as well. So keep your eyes out for the “Santa Barbara Donate Button” in honor of the beautiful ladies of Santa Barbara.
As we begin our journey, we have been living with the work of Henry Barnes. In his book, Into the Heart’s Land, he describes the early beginnings of the Helen Hecker group. It was truly beautiful to have the presence of Jane Martindale, a long-standing member. We could feel the deeply held connections to those who began this work on American soil. So fabulous it was to see this group in Santa Barbara, with their long history, striving forward toward the future!
We feel greatly encouraged going forward with their enthusiastic support for our initiative, and we carry these ladies and their questions with us in our hearts