Commemorated in an all-night vigil on December 31st, 2022, the first Goetheanum was a visible, artistic manifestation of the whole of Anthroposophy – Rudolf Steiner’s universal knowledge of humanity and spirit. The work and craftsmanship of the huge intercultural team of volunteers were offered up into the night, preserved as an unforgettable memory in all who witnessed the burning inferno, as the fire consumed the mastery and beauty of the building on New Year’s eve of 1922 to 1923.
The first building which presented Anthroposophy as a living reality in every facet, shape and gesture of its design and craftsmanship had to be transformed into an open space, one which now needs to be filled by human engagement and interaction. The second Goetheanum poses an invitation to each individual to enter into it and fill it with the human striving to «guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe». In this sense the Goetheanum today is an open space which welcomes individual human beings to manifest spiritual realities (Anthroposophy) within the consciousness of their souls and no longer in the outer forms, materials and colours of the building. This process of human beings encountering and hosting spiritual beings became the new dialogue, in which knowledge of the self, the world and the spirit can become real and objectively present in all the free and conscious actions of those present. Might we say that the Goetheanum became an embodied space of meditation?
In my understanding and experience, the process of meditation creates a space of co-hosting human and spiritual dialogue, of free engagement and participation across the boundaries of the visible and invisible worlds. Meditation is a delicate and intimate journey from known experience to a newly emerging knowledge of a world largely unknown to the human senses. Dare we try to make our meditation a sacred invitation to co-hosting a dialogue across the boundary of time and space? A spontaneous encounter in which we do not only think, feel, or hold intentions, but weave, flow and stream into a larger reality of being? To ever and again return to the ebb and flow of daily life, to engage in our tasks with replenished energy and appreciation.
In meditation we may build a space of sacred hospitality, a heart space of warmth, in which that Silent Self within our own being may invite and host the beings of that invisible world that host our thoughts, potential and emergent Self invisibly in daily life. In meditation, we meet and dialogue in a place of mutual agreement, in which both human and spiritual beings may honour their responsibility to each other and so enhance and integrate what one has to gift the other across the borders of the worlds.
To meditate is to gain such inner warmth for the seemingly abstract thoughts in meditation, as one otherwise gains in the world when one turns a loving heart towards another personality or some happening of the world or some thing of the world.
Title image Frontal view of the Goetheanum building, Photo: Xue Li