The Desert within You

“The desert you have to overcome is within yourself.”

In 1953, Albert Steffen published the drama Alexanders Wandlung [Alexander’s Transformation]1 about Alexander the Great’s after-death journey. Alexander’s encounter with his deceased companions is followed by a meeting with Aristotle, with whom he experiences the destiny of his loved ones and the disintegration of his empire. Aristotle offers him guidance to let go of his bonds with the Earth and his personality. He shows Alexander the way to become an earthly human being who is personally responsible for his actions and their consequences. Aristotle says, “Each person can only find it for themselves. It is within the experience of abandonment.” In preparation for their future life on earth, both are allowed to experience, side by side, the encounter and mutual appreciation of Lazarus and the young man of Nain before they come before the archangel Michael in order to receive a blessing. Michael speaks the words, “I arm you all with my power.”

In our conference, which takes its name from the introductory quote, we are trying to trace the forces of destiny between Ita Wegman and Albert Steffen. In addition to the known documents that convey Ita Wegman’s life and personality, we will draw on Steffen’s diary entries and on Alexander’s Transformation. Chr. Engelns, Chr. Haid

Conference dates: January 26 to 28, 2024
More on the conference (in German): Steffentagung 2024

Translation Joshua Kelberman
Image Painting by Albert Steffen

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  1. Albert Steffen, Alexander’s Transformation, translated from the German by Arvia MacKaye (Dornach: Verlag für Schöne Wissenschaften [Belles-lettres publishing], 1956).

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