Over the past week there have been so many revelations and so much learning. So this is going to be a long post. I will try and backfill it with photographs after I have posted.
First week back
Being back in school went very quickly indeed.
Sore feet The first thing I discovered was that my feet got incredibly sore after a day's worth of teaching. At first I hardly noticed it, but by Tuesday, I found that after I fell asleep, took a nap, after school - actually Tuesday was the first day I taught, as I appeared in Court on Monday - I found that my feet were CRIPPLED. Not only were my feet crippled, but my back could not be straightened either. This is a new phenomenon, feeling like I had run ten kilometres without any training, but this time it involved standing. I did ask people about it, but in the end, Heidi said, it is probably because you have been standing all day after not standing for a long time. I looked at my feet on Friday and there were veins popping out of them. However, these settled down after the evening, and since I didn't do anything on Saturday, my feet felt fine. So, now i know, I must sit as often as I can or just walk around. Taking the weight off my feet is very important.
Trusting the subject I have approached this year with much trepidation. I am not very good with teenagers. Especially with teenagers in this part of the world. However, what i learned was prepare and then trust the subject. And there is a lot of prep to do. However, the SUBJECTS are incredible and I should just trust the exciting nature of the subject - which is History. I spent five minutes asking the children why we should study history and of course, they had no idea. And then, a bit defeated, i was, I will just tell them the story - and I began talking about Alexander the Great and they LOVED it. I mean there is not a lot of not like about how crazy Alexander was. The best part was that they understood everything I meant to convey without having to engage them intellectually at all. So TRUST the SUBJECT, don't overthink it.
The descent into the material
This year we do the Romans, and so many things have occurred to me which have never occurred at all. Firstly, I have experienced the descent into the material in a real way at all. It is like asking a fish, what is it like swimming in water? Or a human being, what do you think about breathing? The material is all that we have. But over the past two years, I have been reading up about quantum as well as thinking a lot about the nature of the material, and it is coming together this year.
A changing consciousness So, what is totally apparent, is that human beings did not have the same consciousness all the time. As in, thousands of years ago, we did not have the same way of seeing things as we do now. It is not an evolution, as in PROGRESS or IMPROVEMENT, but rather a change. I don't know why we have changed, I have a few theories, but certainly we changed in the way we took in and related to the world. This is definitely also seen in the way children recapitulate their own changing consciousness. They move from this languageless, instinctive relationship to the world around them, a dreamy clairvoyance, to a brighter, more materialistic relationship with the world. And we do them an injury by EXPLAINING things to them too soon. This is because we are then forcing this way of thinking and seeing too early on them, and this then does an injury to their ability to have intuition, which is an awakened unconsciousness connection to the world around them. And how do you awaken intuition? You do this by meeting the needs of the child at the age which it is in. Awaken wonder in them first, then help them connect to the world around them through beauty, and finally, they then step into adulthood where they are willing to work with the world around them and they have nourished their Heart's Wisdom.
Intuition If pressed to say what intuition is, I would say it is the healthy synthesis of all the senses, all the information which we take in, warmed by knowledge, which then results in a compassionate judgement. Intuition can protect as well as connect. We should never be afraid of our intuition. However the world has really hit a material hardness which we are desperately trying to breakthrough, and this is especially seen with films about superheros and people with intuitive powers. This now exists in Fantasy, which is an unhealthy form of the Imagination. But it DOES exist, and part of Steiner education is about helping a person develop their intuition, which is the highest form of intelligence.
Material I watched the complete series of The Pyramid Code yesterday. It is a collection of theories from Esoteric archaeology, which says things like, we don't actually know what the Pyramids are for, the way we have dated our histories has been wrong and we have ignored a huge chunk of evidence which indicates our ancestors had very high tech which we have lost. It is fascinating. However, what really struck me after I finished watching it was how primitive we were really in the way we used our senses. This approach that we have which is very intellectual, very compartmentalised, very atomised, despite it's apparent complexity, is an incredibly childish way of looking at things. Being unable to see things in a whole is a sign of maturity, and the truth is that the way the world operates right now, is not that. Which is why we are in trouble. We are asked to only see what is before us, to thinking 'scientifically'. Science is the be all and end all of all knowledge in this climate, and this has resulted in the disintegration, literally of society. There is only ONE way of doing things, and if you do not do it, then, you will pay the price.
The Heart's Wisdom I am not sure if I would have understood this so completely if I had not experienced the strange gift I did nearly two weeks ago now. It has served me so well over since I have received it. To be able to plumb into, or connect to, this web, this alternate dimension of truth, of love, has begun to anchor me a bit. However, it is a little bit like being taken out of the water - I can now see the water I was swimming in. I can now see that the material is indeed maya, as in, it is only one way of being with the world, and if you think it is the only way of being with the world, you are doing two terrible things to yourself: first, you are denying nourishing your soul, and secondly, you are denying your body - it is like putting out your eyes or ears - saying that you refuse to believe anything beyond the material does exist. This is way meditation is such a safe experience for so many Westerners. They instinctively know that they need this connection, but they can do it in the safe space of materialism - they do not have to challenge their notion of a non material world, as it can all be explained with alpha brain waves, etc. Perhaps this is why the Bhudda said this, that meditation is the best path to connection - because he knew that all other ways were being denied, were being closed to people and that to try and cultivate your intuition was too much - so meditation was the next best thing. Hopefully through being able to BE with yourself, you would slowly being to also open the other doors of perception.
I understand that people are where they are. They can't be anywhere else really. It is ok. And perhaps we will have to take the total plunge into the Kali Yurga, the age of destruction. We have no choice, this is just how the universe determines that we evolve. Earth is as it is. However, it also says that we are emerging FROM Kali Yurga, that was the meaning behind 2012. December 21, 2012. This change of consciousness.
Nature? One way of continuing to nurture your intuition, it seems is to be with nature. But I do not think this is entirely correct. I agree that it is a great way to do this, but I also know some of the most broken people who work in conservation, who work with nature - some of the most arrogant, and atomised people, who consider themselves scientists and nothing else. Being in nature is all about flying to places which are on the other side of the world, which uses up a huge carbon footprint, identifying species, having this poor cultural connection to the people who live in these places, and then thinking they have done their job by counting the number of insects, plants, etc which they have seen. After this they will take lots of photographs and then come home and boast with their pals about the places they have been to. To me there is something distasteful in this kind of conservation. Call it what it really is, a feeding of your ego, your curiosity, your arrogance, your interests and passions, but it is simply not a connection to nature. In fact, to give them credit, if I said they were connecting with nature, they would say, NO!!!! nature cannot be connected to - we are SAVING nature. That is what we are doing. We can't save Nature, Nature is saving us, at every level - what we can really do if we want to save nature is to save ourselves and our fellow human beings. Nature will take care of itself.
The Intelligent Unseen It always amazes me that people would deny the unseen just because they have no material proof of it, despite the fact that there is tonnes of evidence that it exists. There is an intelligence in the systems which maintain us. Call it physics, call it nature spirits, call it demons, call it whatever you want to. The truth is that there will always be a realm which will be beyond our understanding, much in the same way that a dog will never be able to cook a meal. We simply do not have the tools with which to perceive and see these forces. It is not our fault, it is just the way we are made. We would never say to a dog, you are a complete omadhuan being unable to make scrambled eggs. We would not say to each other, we are idiots because we can't see this unseen. And many valiant attempts are being made to see this unseen, but all we are pursuing is the material world. These forces exist between, many dimensions between, that which can be measured. All we can do is observe and respectfully work in co-operation with them. This is part of the point of intuition. And this is the huge problem which we have - that we seem to be unable to work in co-operation and humility with these intelligent forces. We only have a utilitarian perspective - can I make use of it? If yes, how, if no, it is not interesting or valuable. This is a serious issue because, as we now know EVERYTHING, has a place in our universe and as we begin to lose the richness of the unseen, which is paradoxically epitomised by the material, we are causing massive levels of instability both in our inner and other worlds. It is really critical that we stop and examine ourselves - how are we going to sit still, listen and listen with humility?
This has given me much hope, despite it being an godawful week - between nuclear war and climate Armageddon - for a few reasons. Firstly, what people who have known all along have been saying, has slowly come to pass. People asked for nuclear disarmament, but did we get it? No. People have been warning about man made climate change now for decades. But did the big companies listen? No. What about education and health? Beaten dockets, all of them. It is sometimes not very pleasant when the things you have warned about have come to pass. But come to pass they have. Which means that your sense of big picture has been right all along. So vindication, even though it is a rather unpleasant vindication. Just to say, hey you are totally on the right path. This isn't a very positive example of hope, I know. But it is hopeful in that it was foreseen, just not acted upon. Secondly, we already by the solution. Or solutions. We all know what can be done and what needs to be done. However, the cure at the present moment is rather painful. Because human beings have been existing in this sort of retarded adulthood, where everyone wants to be a child - probably because they never were children to begin with - they have not learnt about the importance of necessary sacrifice. So, for instance, when people have kids and then they spend their whole lives not really taking into consideration what the children require, instead think about how children can be inserted around their lives, that is what I call a retarded adulthood. Being an adult means saying, now it is my turn to serve. Not to be served. That sort of ends when you are twenty one. But nonetheless, we know what must be done. And many of us will have to give up privilege. But it is much better to do it NOW, when you can manage that civilly rather than through violence revolution, which is coming.