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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.

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.

Thomas Poplawski



Every now and then, less often than we’d like but more often than one might hope for, a book comes along that takes a fresh look at old questions and, in so doing, enlivens not only the questions, but the subject they address. Completing the Circle is such a book.

Thomas Poplawski has taken up most of the questions most people, at some time or another, ask about Waldorf Education and has addressed them (and us) with great heart and a viewpoint that brings us into the living nature of human life. Open the book and you’ll step into a world of quiet liveliness, a world at peace and in motion, at once magical and fully apparent. His is a book that will make you fall in love with life and the possibilities of education all over again.

Here’s what he talks about:

  • The Schooling of Angels
  • Button Up Your Overcoat
  • Losing Our Senses
  • Taming the Media Monster
  • The Power of Play
  • Toys Are Not Us – Escaping from the Maw of Consumerism
  • Children and Sports – Finding a Balance
  • Etheric? Astral? Ego? – An Esoteric View of teh Human Being and Its Value in the Education of the Child
  • Paradise Lost: The Nine-Year Change
  • The Four Temperaments
  • Watching Your Temper(ament)
  • A Modern Path of Meditation and Inner Development

Fact & Fable

Frieda Gates



Told and illustrated by a nationally acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator, this book was created in celebration of the Fellowship Community’s acquisition of the Duryea Farm and Apple Orchard. It consists of the real facts in the life of the man known to the world as Johnny Appleseed and is interspersed with many stories told about this remarkable human being. Each story is illustrated with Frieda Gates’ wonderful pictures.

How Waldorf Schooling Addresses the Problems of Society

Brien Masters



Originally $24.00 –

Is the philosophy we use to educate our children responsible, at least partially, for the attitudes and general tone of our societies? A recent UNICEF report on wealthy countries saw the United States and the United Kingdom ranked lowest in the quality of life for young people across a wide range of categories?including poverty, health, drugs, friendships, and happiness. According to experts, those nations that performed best in the survey have created “child-friendly” societies in which, for example, young people are not pressured to achieve academically until their teens. In contrast, educators in the US and UK generally press toward economic success, using education as a means of generating?through “No Child Left Behind” and increasing use of tests?the high achievers needed, it is thought, to produce material wealth.

Brien Masters?an educator for more than fifty years?asserts that education has a central role to play “in bringing into human lives those qualities that can take us forward to a progressive future.” He proposes that Rudolf Steiner’s educational approach, which is practiced primarily in the Waldorf schools around the world, is well equipped to enable this. In Steiner Education and Social Issues?via a series of short, engaging chapters and based on his broad personal experience of teaching and teacher-training?Masters tackles a wide range of modern social issues, from drugs and nutrition to boredom to the influence of television and multicultural societies. This is a wise and informative guide for parents, teachers, and anyone interested in the future development of our children and our culture.

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