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A Final Destination or a Path Toward Freedom?

Edited by Nancy Blanning

Lectures from the 2012 International Waldorf Early Childhood Conference at the Goetheanum



The Journey of the “I” into Life presents us with the notes and transcripts of gleaned from five lectures given in 2012 by medical doctors, early childhood educators and a consulting Waldorf class teacher.  It is a rare combination of crystal clear thought and facts presented through hearts filled with warmth and love.  I have seldom been as moved as I was to read these lectures, and felt my understanding of human development was not just enhanced, but very much deepened as well.  It is hard to convey in just this bit of writing, but there was something so poignant and wonderful about being able, for instance, to see the photographs of the progression of development of human synapses from 0 to 3 years.  Combined with the thoughts being expressed by the lecturer (in this case, Dr. Michaela Glöckler), I found myself in the presence of a process that is in and of itself miraculous: it is a miracle that such development is possible, and a wonder that with it’s indescribable fragility and mutability it most often leads to the emergence of fully capable adult human beings.

This little book in its entirety is filled to the brim with moments and revelations like this one.  I would wish that everyone be allowed to encounter what it contains.

Diagnosis in Curative Education

Karl König

Foreword by Michael Glockler, MD

Introduction by Cornelius Pietzner

Translated by Catherine E. Creeger



Karl König’s point of view is that “disabilities” are exaggerated forms of ways we all use to cope with life. He presents the outline of a comprehensive child anthropology for diagnosis in the areas of motor disturbances, sensory disturbances, right and left, the world of language and the gestalt of the child. Finally he introduces us to convulsive disorders, epilepsy and hysteria.

This unique book is of value not only to those working in special education but to anyone interested in the dynamics of all human development.

Ernst Uehli

Translated by Rudolf Copple



This is a valuable study of a mythology that has as much to do with the future of human evolution as it does with these old stories of the Norse gods. Uehli moves systematically through the major figures in this ancient saga, reflecting on the deeper meaning and showing why they are so valuable for children, especially those in the fourth grade. It will provide insight for teachers, parents, and other adults who hope to answer some of the life questions of today.

Rudolf Steiner



These lectures by Steiner in 1921 and 1922 are newly available in English and constitute some of his most enthusiastic and detailed discussions of the goals of his pedagogy (Waldorf Education). In them he describes a way of educating and teaching children and youth by educating the entire person: body, soul, and spirit. Such an education can be carried out only if the educator is aware of the evolutionary metamorphosis that proceeds from spirit to soul and from soul into the physical. Steiner makes it quite clear that to deliver this education one must understand this as well as the developmental stages of human beings.

These lectures are filled with gems of wisdom and insight.

Sourcebook for inspired storytelling

Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth


What I find very special about this guidebook is that it reads as a great story in itself.  The telling of this path reads like a fascinating page-turner, the authors exploring an adventure-filled wilderness of human life and the ways that ‘story’ becomes a sustaining part of our existence.  The exercises they suggest are so well-described that you will want to try them out right away, they are just that interesting.  I can’t think of a better way to enter the world of storytelling, nor a surer way to learn to captivate children and delight one and all.

Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth invite you to realise your potential as a storyteller, for they believe that everyone can tell a story, but to tell it well requires a certain set of skills.  Whether you’re starting out or want to develop your storytelling expertise, this book is an essential guide. It can be used to tell stories for entertainment, teaching, coaching, healing or imbuing life with meaning.

Inside you’ll find a wealth of stories, exercises, questions, tips and insights to guide your storytelling path, offering time- tested and trusted ways of improving your skills, addressing blocks and helping you become a confident and inspirational storyteller. Ashley and Sue share the trials and triumphs of their personal storytelling journeys and explore what it means to be a storyteller today.


  • Starting out and First Steps- Nuts and Bolts
  • Basics and Beyond
  • Senses
  • Rhythm and Repetition
  • Polarities
  • Temperaments
  • Thresholds
  • Dynamics
  • Gestures
  • Gazes
  • Relating
  • Silence
  • Levels of Language
  • Voice
  • The Deeper Current-Self Development and Storytelling
  • Quotes
  • Stories
  • Tips
  • Exercises
  • Examples
  • Resources

—  Ashley Ramsden and Sue Hollingsworth teach at the International School of Storytelling, founded in 1994 at Emerson College, England. They perform and run courses worldwide. With a background in theatre and speech, Ashley has developed unique methods of teaching storytelling and voice work. He is particularly known for his one man shows of A Christmas Carol, The Amazing Adventures of the Hodja Nasruddin, Tistou, and The Man Who Planted Hope. Sue tells true life tales, leads wilderness and pilgrimage storywalks and runs storytelling retreats for women. Her performances of Along the Way, Out of Eden and Conducting the Storm invite us into a new relationship with nature.

An Introduction to Natural Farming

Masanobu Fukuoka


Preface by Wendell Berry

Introduction by Frances Moore Lappé


Originally $15.95 –

I think that in many ways The One-Straw Revolution is one of the most meaningful and inspiring books ever written about agriculture and also about human life.  It has certainly been one of the most meaningful and inspiring books in both our lives.  About a decade before we met, both Bob and I were reading Fukuoka’s beautiful thoughts and doing what we could to bring them to bear on our own lives.  Our lives, of course, continued to move on and both of us managed to lose our precious copies, also before we met.  Fukuoka’s thoughts and experiences continued to live within us, but so did thousands of other things.  We discovered the importance of this book in each other’s lives only a couple of years ago, after it had been out of print for about a dozen years.  We tracked down an affordable used copy and revisited our old friend and his wisdom once again.  It was like being reinvigorated, refreshed and renewed ~ we brought to life again ways of gardening, of living that had remained dormant for many, many years.  Both we and our garden have thrived in new ways as a result.

What you will find between the covers of this book is in no way a conventional “how-to” about natural farming or gardening or eating.  Instead, you’ll be given that rare opportunity to see the world through the eyes of someone who was so convinced by a single idea, namely, that nature always knows more than human beings, that he devoted his life to learning to comprehend nature’s way of doing things and how he could shape his farming practices to let nature tend the crops and animals in the best way possible.

You’ll be introduced to the cycle of the year from the perspective of sequential growing and harvesting; you’ll find ways of supporting relationships between plants and animals such that each nourishes the other’s life; you’ll even find how human life and human needs can be best met in terms of food through the seasons and a work load that is steady but not overbearing.

In short, you’ll find a way of looking at and understanding the world around you that has the possibility both figuratively and literally, to feed you body and soul throughout your life.

It is so very wonderful to find this book back in print!

Calvert Roszell

With an Introductin by George G. Ritchie



Near-death experiences (NDE) are among the most thought-provoking mysteries of human life, and fully understanding them will have far-reaching consequences. Are these experiences the hallucinations of a brain depleted of oxygen, or are they a reconnaissance into spiritual worlds?

This book explores the research of Dr. Michael Sabom, a noted cardiologist and professor of medicine at Emory University, which indicates that near-death experiences re body-free or spiritual experiences. It also explores the parallels that exist between teh work of Rudolf Steiner and descriptions such as those given by George Ritchie, whose near-death journey caused Raymond Moody to begin the epoch-making study that brought the phenomenon into the public eye.

Memoirs from the Living Heart of a Mayan Village

Martín Prechtel

Foreword by Robert Bly

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I love this book; so much so that after making three attempts at writing my own review of it, I’ve decided to let Robert Bly speak from his Foreword instead:

“[Prechtel’s] father is Swiss, his mother a Native American from Canada, Martín is a half-European, half-Huron baby cooked in some darkness he couldn’t have imagined. He settled into the famous Mayan village of Santiago Atitlán from the time he was twenty until he was thirty-three. There he received two initiations, one into the village religious tradition and the other into shamanism.

…Before meeting Martín, I’d never known a representation of such a culture. But I can testify to the integrity, the massive learning, the faithfulness, the lighthearted joy, and the hard-working nature of this representative.

From these metaphors of honey, of Gods crazy about smoke and dancing, we get a scent of the “original flowering earth,” that is, the fantastic fragrance that can come into human life when, despite madness and greediness, old women and old men help the young ones to embody beauty and eloquence, and when eight-hundred-year-old rituals of gratitude get a chance to play themselves out. . . . It’s a precious thing, this book. I’ve never known another like it. It’s a great encyclopedia of beauty that could so easily have been lost if a tree had fallen differently, if a foot had slipped on a rock, if a canoe had sunk in the storm, if the gunman had aimed a little to the left.

. . . it is a treasure house of language, in service to life.”

– Robert Bly

And it is even more than that. I hope you have the good fortune of being able to read Secrets of the Talking Jaguar – every minute of it will love you.

Suffering and Salvation in the Art of Grünewald

Gottfried Richter

Softbound - full color reproductions of the altar, paintings, and painting details


NOTE: This title is out of print.

No other painter has ever so terribly and truthfully exposed the horror of suffering, and yet kept before us . . . the conviction of salvation.

– Sister Wendy Beckett

I would like to add that, in my estimation it is also true that no other painter has so clearly painted the grace of human joy or the triumph of love over fear – Grünewald’s masterpiece is a tour de force of all the possibilities of the relationship of human beings to the divine and the nature of human life and love. I have often contemplated the various panels (or the progression of the full altar) and have always come away with new insights and the renewed energy of faith, hope and love.

The real joy of this little book is that the reproducations of the Isenheim Altar are so good that they invite you to explore, contemplate, and meditate on the content, meaning, beauty of these panels. Richter’s discussion of the altarpiece is an excellent introduction and offers a great deal of history and artistic insight. However, I will tell you that, as good as his essay is, it barely scratches the surface of what you will discover over the years.

Something that is not discussed in the book, but which I have found valuable in my own contemplation of this amazing altarpiece, is that the Nativity, Crucifixion and Resurrection panels encompass the 15 mysteries of Mary as meditated through the Rosary. (Notice that the Christ Child and St. Anthony are both holding prayer beads.)

The Isenheim Altar was commission by the Order of St. Anthony – a monastic fraternity that cared for the sick of their time (early 1500’s). They were so aware of the healing value of contemplation and awareness of the mysteries portrayed on this altarpiece that they positioned it so that their patients could see it and benefit from its health-bestowing images.

Clearly, there is much to explore. The Isenheim Altar is a wellspring sending forth living waters.

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant


Manfred Schmidt-Brabant helped organize the first-ever Conference for Homemakers at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. This book presents the three lectures he delivered at this gathering which drew thousands from all over the world (instead of the hundreds that were expected), eager to come together to consider a fundamental aspect of human life that has become everywhere neglected.

I am so grateful that he honored homemaking as the life-giving art that it is – especially when I consider that even now, at a time when I would have thought we’d all “know better,” such honor is rarely bestowed upon those who truly rock the cradle of the world. I find his lectures fascinating in their connections of daily life with cosmic reality. I also deeply appreciate the practicality of his answers in the question session at the end and his emphasis on understanding as the foundation for creating today’s homes.

This is a wonderful antidote to our modern, pedestrian view of homemaking (“Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver.”) – an invitation to crown our homes with grace and gratitude.

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