Individuality as a culture-building force

Individuality as a culture-building force

27 April 2020 | Sebastian Jüngel

In their report for the year 2019/2020, the members of the Executive Council and Section leaders describe new forms of working, activities and plans for the immediate future. In addition to providing anthroposophical foundations, the Executive Council and the Sections aim to be active in ways that are appropriate to our time.


Anthroposophy is a being that awakens a culture-building force in each of us. Respecting individuality means “thinking others from the point of view of their reality,” says Constanza Kaliks. Joan Sleigh looks beyond the individual and asks, “Can the Anthroposophical Society increasingly develop into a global network of individuals, each of whom, in striving for spirit presence in their life, transcends uniqueness (individuality) in the service of humanity and of an interrelated universe?” Justus Wittich sees it as a mission that “this culture-building force of individuality must become more and more visible in public.”

These are some of the tasks that the Anthroposophical Society and the School of Spiritual Science are ready to take on, for instance in the following ways:

• At the level of the Anthroposophical Society, Matthias Girke encourages the forming of specialist working groups that carry professional experiences into the Anthroposophical Society.

• The Sections at the Goetheanum are working together.

• New ventures that have become established include the World Goetheanum Association, the Goetheanum Meditation Initiative Worldwide and the Living Connections Initiative.

Awakening impulses and new ideas

Communication is needed for people and groups to be able to connect: those involved know best what they need; the Goetheanum makes ‘channels’ available over and above that. These channels do not only serve as sources of information, they can also awaken impulses and new ideas” (Matthias Girke), from a global perspective. This includes the extension of Anthroposophy Worldwide as a four-language publication that is available in print, as pdf and as a website. Other organs of information, from individual Sections and departments and one from the Goetheanum as a whole, have been extended or newly created.

The anthroposophical movement and Society do not see themselves as a closed-off parallel society, which means that they expose themselves to outside attacks. According to Matthias Girke, these are “mostly recurring topics, presented with the usual arguments, but they gather momentum and become a growing threat for a free spiritual life. Often there is little point in responding to them. It is better to show how anthroposophy and its fields of application can be useful and positive for civilization.” The Medical Section does this by providing platforms such as anthromedics.org, pflege-vademecum.de [also available in English] and mistel-therapie.de. In addition it is important, Justus Wittich writes, to stay strong inside and “not allowing oneself to be divided”, but to develop an interest in “the motives of others and respect for their will impulses”.

The four steps of the School of Spiritual Science

The School of Spiritual Science offers a special method. “Anthroposophically oriented spiritual science always starts with our appreciation and mastering of logical-intellectual thinking. This is enhanced by consistently practising observation and reflection and deepened in meditation. The voice of conscience responds to the thoughts […].” The Sections support this, for instance by contributing to the editing of volumes from Rudolf Steiner’s complete works.

In addition, the Sections are also very active in diverse ways in civil society. Aside from practical involvement in ‘classic’ disciplines such as agriculture, education and medicine, this includes

• Standing up for human beings as creative beings who have value in themselves and cannot be measured against the standards of high-performance technologies and artificial intelligence.

• Offering jobs with qualifications that are attractive to young people, and working on possibilities for training, professional development, consultancy and quality assurance, and

• Protecting the work areas in case of political interference or attacks.

The effectiveness of anthroposophy is not least apparent in the cooperation with other initiatives such as the Social Future (de) congress initiative and in the support it receives from organizations such as Movetia (www.movetia.ch/en) and Mercator (www.stiftung-mercator.de/en).


To the Goetheanum Annual report