Spiritualizing Art

A Michaelmas Event in Ljubliana

Last September, a Michaelmas event was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with the goal of bringing art and spirituality together.

The event was organized by Tretji Most [Third Bridge], the Institute for Threefold Culture in Ljubljana. For the last four years, they have worked to promote public anthroposophical events in the area. Singer and composer Olga Kranich held a concert that was followed by a seminar on Valborg Werbeck-Svärdström [the founder of an anthroposophical training path for singers].

Included in this Michaelmas event were artists who incorporate the spiritualization of culture into their ideals. What does this mean? The first part of the concert featured songs by well-known composers. But, in the second part, we heard songs composed by Olga Kranich herself, which she accompanied on the lyre. These melodies sounded in unusual tones, unfamiliar to the outside ear. They conveyed an impression of an inverse flow of time, from the future to the present. Experiences of this reverse current are not entirely unknown. Nevertheless, our relationship to this stream of time seems to have changed in recent decades and continues to change. As a result, many artists are looking for a renewal of form.

When we talk about a need for renewal, we are also talking about the relationship between old and new. What thoughts enable us to say goodbye to the old and embrace the new coming towards us? This is a transition for all humanity. We all have to say goodbye to old spiritual traditions, not just to crude, dull materialism. This can be a staggering goal for us as individuals. The paths of freedom pass through uncertainty, error, mistakes, and, not least, guilt.

Every artistic activity already contains a spiritual substance in its origin. So, why do we need to spiritualize it? Isn’t that like wanting to just spice it up, add a bit of salt? The ancient mystery schools such as Delphi, Ephesus, and Eleusis were a unified source of culture for their times. What was more or less given then, must today be internalized by our own development of culture. Not a small trifle!

Our souls must withstand constant attacks. “Spiritual art” wants to offer our souls support through this confusion, to help maintain balance and inwardness in the most difficult moments of life. Of course, it will not be possible to draw a hard borderline around what this art is or will be. In the concert, the image of Michael fighting the dragon was not there directly, but there was a presence of it working actively in the background. Not so much as Imagination, but more as Inspiration. Inspiration can overcome the dragon and let music rule over his intelligence. How can we picture this? Through the experience of the concert, the people in the audience were able to perceive something of this overcoming. First-hand experience is certainly always the best.

We happily invite anyone who wants to find out more about future events and the work of the institute to contact us.

Contact tbiffio@gmx.net

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Courtesy photo

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