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Africa-Re: Digest Number 171

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  • elaine upton
    Dear Engemi, and all dears, As always, I love reading your posts, Engemi, and hearing about Africa, along with our discussion of American spirituality and the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2000
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      Dear Engemi, and all dears,

      As always, I love reading your posts, Engemi, and hearing about Africa,
      along with our discussion of American spirituality and the natives and so
      on.

      You write of MUCH rain in South Africa. When I was in South Africa in 1997,
      it rained a lot, too, and even snowed in July (so unusual, isn't it?--at
      least around Pretoria-Jo'burg where i was).--Some people then said that they
      believed there would be a seven year period of flooding rains, as before
      there was a seven year drought.

      On our discussion of soil (American and otherwise), you write:

      >However, interesting how partially we are (and have to be) to the soil
      >of our birth. How it seems as if the map of the soil exists as
      >blueprint in our bodies, it's mountains in the flesh, it's rivers in
      >our blood, just as Steiner explained a map of the constellations at
      >our
      >birth is created in the "Gehirn".

      Yes, this seems important. I wonder what happens to people who live as
      immigrants. Something to do with a different kind of karma?

      .
      >In my country it is mostly the soil itself in its many splendoured
      >colours and variants which is important because we are a nation of
      >farmers.

      Yes, i noticed. The PAC--Pan Africanist Congress--call themselves Sons and
      Daughters of the Soil, do they not?--Your description of soil there is
      lovely to read. I appreciate what you say about the different colors and
      textures of the soil there mirroring a multicultural society.

      >We live in exciting times, in an exciting
      >country. All around us racism is being addressed, along with crime,
      >fraud and sexism, in as many different ways as there are houses being
      >built, as people die of AIDS, as cars are being stolen or children
      >being born. Nobody knows if we will be able to get anything right in
      >the end, but almost everyone is trying.

      That's just GREAT news!--It reminds me of something I read yesterday from
      Steiner, where he says that when we go beyond our individual planetary
      dispositions (as in the poem i wrote and sent)--Venus types, Saturn types,
      etc. and come together in the Sun forces that go beyond individual types,
      and it is like the verse of the Christened one: "Where two or three are
      gathered in my name, there am I in the midst."
      So, there is the awe of Sunrise, and of being relational, radiant, raying
      out...

      Now, on Africa, particularly in its spiritual traditions, you write:

      >
      >What we have here is built on the legacy of the Sphinx - gnothi
      >seauton; the rain dances of the San, the initiation rites of the
      >Masai, the Zulu and others, on the survival of the fittest-law of this
      >continent's animal kingdom, on the indigenous art and music of great
      >simplicity, on the various peoples who were here when the Huguenots,
      >the 1820 settlers, the Prisoners of war and all the rest came to
      >settle here, as well as on the settlers who brought to us a part of
      >Europe in it's richness and variety: the Classicism and enlivening of
      >Mozart, Schubert, Verdi, all of it, the knowledge of following stars
      >and building roads and creating cities.
      >
      >And in this soil of Africa, these seeds were planted together, and
      >now, here, at the beginning of this new millenium, we have something
      >not at all European, nor any more totally African; we have something
      >so much its own, that it can stand on its own. It is something that
      >bears light, and this light is sent to the far corners of Africa which
      >used to be called the Dark Continent.


      Thank you for this beautiful witness to what is the new Africa...

      >Our president Thabo Mbeki speaks of the African Renaiscance: it is
      >happening right now. And i am part of it, i am glad.


      I am glad to know you!

      >Dear Elaine, Steiner never said the Red Indian must die out, he said
      >they WILL die out. They have inherent in them the forces of death
      >because they are the oldest living race. You can see this in the
      >wonderful countenanc in which the nose becomes almost the beak of a
      >bird soaring upwards with its spirit already part of what lives in the
      >stars.


      OK, if this is so about Steiner, I stand corrected. Thank you. I can see
      that the Saturn forces are those of death. But I do think that there is a
      need to be careful in how we talk of this and the native americans. Some
      people use this "dying out" business as an excuse to ignore the natives or
      behave in racist fashion toward them. I still think we need to do much more
      to honor them, to honor what death means, to learn from them, from death.
      Saturn is the portal of death, but that death leads to new life...So, your
      beautiful image of a soaring bird suggests something new will be born out of
      the dying.
      Thus, the natives are not to be dismissed or forgotten. Besides that, some
      important things are going on with natives, clearly with the wise
      traditionalist HOPI.


      >On the other side the African race is the youngest.You can find it in >the
      >happy childlike countenance, the laughter, the joy, the singing >and
      >dancing that have not weighed down the soul

      OK. Then, why does Steiner use the word "backwards" (i need to look up
      something here in German, but i do remember reading and translating some
      references as "backwards")?

      Also, "childlike" is wonderful, but it sometimes becomes confused with
      "childish" and gets a bad reputation.
      (smile)--The white slave owners created the image of the "happy darky" and
      the minstrel shows, etc. These same whites said that Africans were childish
      and like animals, and needed to be bossed around, led around, told what to
      do, etc. This is a misuse of the concept of being a child.

      >I have never been to America. But i do think there could be some
      >similarities, except for the fact that wise old man Saturn rules the
      >America's, where as Mercury, the trickster, the messenger, the
      >quickwitted youth rules Africa.

      The natives were saturn people, yes. But I think more than Saturn is present
      here now...



      >But all these things are there for us to take or leave as we want to.
      >I think wat matters is to know so much, and yes, so little, but to be
      >able to recognize the grace of having all these differences and yet be
      >able to talk about it as friends.

      Yes, indeed!


      As i write here, on the radio plays
      >the Kaiser Concerto by Beethoven directed by Daniel Barenbaum. Just
      >before this the Soweto String Quartet (four very talented - black -
      >violinists) played a medley of local folk melodies in their very
      >distinct, yet classical sound. All of this on a program called This is
      >Classic.


      Ha! ----Classic, huh? I won't get John going on that again (smile, Joh?)

      >Only the guy choosing the music decides what is going to be
      >the evening's classic menu.Who cares, all of it is really good! Pity i
      >can't play it to you.

      Yes, yes....I'd love to hear you...
      >My architect and friend, an anthroposophist has designed a house for
      >my daughter from straw bales and clay, like they used to do in ancient
      >times. He is not going "back to nature", he is going towards the
      >future.


      Yes, we have some straw bale construction here, too. And it is amazing. One
      man opened up his walls to let us see what was inside. Wow!

      >Is this being classic or hiper modern?

      Ha!-It's being wonderful!

      >Salagathle.

      Hambakahle! (Go Well!)
      elaine



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