East Asia’s significance

East Asia’s significance

25 March 2020 | Christiane Haid

A conference held at the Goetheanum from 15 to 17 February illuminated the significance of East Asia for our present culture.


The idea to hold this conference was born in November 2018, during a colloquium at the Goetheanum with contributors from China, Japan and Taiwan, with the aim to gain deeper insights into the spiritual-scientific foundations of East-Asian culture. The conference began with the roots in ancient Atlantic culture and Manu’s eastward journey, moving on from there to the post-Atlantean cultures. This journey through the history of thought cast light on the transition from an entirely peripheral consciousness to the incarnation of the ‘I’ through the Mystery of Golgotha. Even today, we find remnants of the ancient peripheral consciousness in East-Asian cultures. The different qualities in the world perception of these cultures need to be respected and their uniqueness taken seriously.

This consciousness was contrasted with that of the west with its chasm between microcosm and macrocosm that makes itself felt in the cognitive process where a separation occurs between percept and concept. If we become conscious of the thinking process and train ourselves, with the Rosicrucian meditation for instance, so that we develop a new morality, the split between the natural and the moral order can be overcome as a unity is created out of the ‘I’.

We were also able to experience the different tonal systems and musical cultures, made visible in eurythmy contributions to traditional Chinese music, performed by the Goetheanum Eurythmy Ensemble which has members from east and west.