Our sister organization, the Anthroposophic Health Association (AHA), met in Pennsylvania this past July for their bi-annual conference, focused on the Mysteries of Healing. Dr. Daciana Iancu of FHC attended and had the pleasure of connecting with AHA member, Leigh Glenn, who wrote this conference summary to be shared with our FHC audience. Visit anthrohealth.org to find out more about AHA. Membership is open to the public!
After a five-year hiatus that encompassed covid, the Anthroposophic Health Association (AHA) conference launched at Camphill Soltane, Glenmoore, Pa., July 19 with the theme, The Mysteries of Healing: Realizing AnthropoSophia, in honor of and in quest of understanding the dynamic relationship between Rudolf Steiner and Dr. Ita Wegman.
AHA is an umbrella organization that includes various therapies, such as music, art and rhythmical massage that have come out of anthroposophy, the study and practice of “human wisdom” that was spearheaded by Steiner in the early 1900s. In its way, every relationship offers a karmic dance like that of Steiner and Wegman, but the relationship between health practitioner and patient, therapist and client, perhaps more so. The AHA conference keynote speakers—Ursula Flatters, M.D., James Dyson, M.D., and Marion Debus, M.D. — touched on these mysteries. The 81 other conference participants also grappled with these mysteries while examining the clinical cases brought by these three physicians.
Most attendees work in specific therapies, including eurythmy, which brings language itself into movement; psychology; singing; speech; astrosophy; and metal color light therapy. During the conference, some of these therapies—eurythmy, speech, and music—gave breath to the exploration of the mysteries of healing. The last day of the program included a short presentation followed by group work in social threefolding—which seeks to disentangle three social realms: cultural/spiritual (arts, sciences, religion), rights/responsibilities (politics), and economics so that all individuals may attain their highest potential. At the close of the conference, Richard Ramsbotham and Godlind Gädeke offered a spoken-word and music performance, “In Search of the Hidden Sources of Healing,” dedicated to the Sophianic healing impulse highlighted in the conference.
In her evening keynote, Dr. Flatters suggested countering the prevailing reduction of disease and disappearance of the patient/client through actively using imagination, inspiration and intuition to maintain a bias-free, whole picture—not losing the patient/client in the details; by listening with one’s whole being to what the patient/client means; and by courting the spirit of Sophia (wisdom) coming from the future as the “doing” so that the healing enables the person (the practitioner, too) to take a developmental step and resolve some aspect of karma, which can be whatever someone is meant to do in life, with life.
According to Dr. Debus, this picture of therapy somewhat reflects the relationship between Wegman and Steiner, who both wanted a physiology that looked at the whole person, including the person’s unseen aspects, in contrast to the then-increasing materialist and government-controlled medicine. Dr. Wegman moved toward Steiner at the beginning of the anthroposophical movement and even more deeply after New Year’s Eve 1922 when the First Goetheanum—designed by Steiner as a way to bring spirit into matter and under construction since 1913 with a group of international craftspeople—burned.
Wegman offered Steiner her help, such that their “I-beings”, their highest selves, met in a new way. This kind of dynamic can unfold in the therapeutic space, in the meeting between the highest I of the practitioner and that of the patient or client. Debus quoted French Resistance fighter Jacques Lusseyran’s description of the “I” as a force that remains near to birth, a promise, something we don’t really own. It nourishes itself from movements it performs itself. It is pure movement! In this meeting of two “I”s lies the potential for the patient or client to realize how they have grown and changed during the course of an illness, as the warmth generated by Spirit meets the physical, which has its own reality in the sense world.
Dr. Dyson noted that the Sophianic forces would like for us to work with polarities, until we can reach a place where both are true, and this requires us to work in partnership with others—in “selfless collaboration” with colleagues, with patients and clients—in a context, not in isolated information or facts, which is how karma is transformed and people live their destinies. After touching into the similarities between the Grail story and Sophia, he paraphrased the last sentence of Steiner’s How to Know Higher Worlds: “The teacher will deny help to any student seeking help who is not, at the same time, devoted to collaboration.”
—Leigh Glenn is a writer/editor in Pinellas Park, Fla., and a student in the Association for Anthroposophic Psychology’s 2022–2025 cohort.