Mystery Drama in America
- ******* I'd like to invite all of you members in North America to come to the performance of one of Steiner's mystery dramas.
The several hundred people who belong to this group hardly ever say anything or introduce themselves, so it's hard to say how much people know about Steiner and anthroposophy. Our movement has communitiesfarms, schools, medical institutions but I assume most of the people who join this group don't live in one and know Steiner and anthroposophy only through books or the Internet.
Well, anthroposophy is a path of awakening (or reawakening, or giving birth to) the higher self, a second self in addition to the one we're born with. This can only be done to a small degree by reading about things unless those things become part of a whole new way of living, including new ways of moving, speaking, using one's body in daily life.
Just as in Eastern meditation, there is the art of tai chi or meditation in movement, there is a whole approach to movement that originated with Rudolf Steiner, Eurythmy. if you don't live in or near an anthroposophical community, there is little opportunity to see or experience this. There is an allied art of Speech Formation that has sprung from anthroposophy, and the same is true about it;---but both of these have given birth to an entirely new approach to acting, carried here in the United States by the Michael Chekhov group in New York City.
Dr. Steiner taught that we move our bodies with the spirit, although in complete unconsciousness; acting is (or rather can be) raising these forces into consciousness. At the same time (19101914) that Steiner was beginning the development of eurythmy, he also wrote four Rosicrucian Mystery Dramas, and this whole new approach to speech and movement began with his indications to the actors of how they should enact the various characters on stage, some of which are not physical beings but beings we meet only in the astral worlds or in the spiritual world. In fact, the headquarters building of the society was mainly created to perform these plays, and musical/poetry/eurythmy performances.
This all grew out of his central teaching, that the forces of the intellect are not powerful enough to grasp spiritual things, so that we must draw upon the much more powerful forces that we use to speak and move our bodies withso that Art is the spiritual path for man in the modern age. This is why an anthroposophical Study group must not merely read a book, but have the members engage in some artistic activity.
if you don't live near a community of anthroposophists, and you're stuck with just reading books (or text on a page, anyway) about anthroposophy, please try to find your way to New York next month to this rare performance.
It isn't only that these plays have some intellectual message that could be summarized in words on a page, but HOW the actors speak and move, the costumes, the lighting, the musicall are worked out from spiritual sources and can speak to the audience in a way you can't understand unless you're there. When you experience this dimension of anthroposophy, you will begin to really know it for the first time, and understand what it's brought into the world and why it's different than any mere philosophy or religion.