Welcome to the Holy Nights issue of New View. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere – much warmer south of the equator! At the moment of writing this I am staying in the south of London and working here until just after Christmas. It snowed last night, the third Sunday in Advent. I rose early this morning to complete this editorial and give the magazine to the printers. Here in Britain we have many strikes across the nation affecting mail collection and deliveries, the railways, nurses; even the weather people, the meteorological office, are threatening to strike. Whatever the reasons for the various disaffected sectors one thing is clear, these last three years have taken a toll on everyone and for most people the financial burden of the cost of living has increased mightily – especially for food and energy; keeping warm this winter in Britain and Europe will be a challenge for many. More than ever, people need to help one another through these difficult times.
In Winter, things naturally go inwards with the long nights and cold days. Having lived some years in the Southern hemisphere I always think of the conditions there as the year cycles through the festivals. So much more light to the south now, pulling people out into activities with long summer days. We experience the seasons ebb and flow on the journey through each year and how nature responds and we to her. The Holy Nights is also a journey, a special opening for everyone, wherever they are. If one is conscious for it, this is a time of unfolding intimacy between the individual and the spirit. Of course, many folk do not ponder or open to this, filled by earthly matters, but it is available for all.
Rudolf Steiner considered that humanity is only at the beginning of the revelation and understanding of the Christian mysteries. At this time of year we stand once more at the beginning of the journey that was taken some 2,000 years ago by the birth of a child. And all that followed and continues to do so. And so we begin this issue of New View with a glimpse into the mystery of birth and how we came here. What is that which comes into human form? Pearl Goodwin gives thoughtful insights to this with Form and the Human Embryo.
Writing form Taiwan, Ben Cherry looks at what can arise into the future with Peace on Earth: A Contribution from the Asia-Pacific Region.
During these Holy Nights we pass 100 years since the burning down of the First Goetheanum in Switzerland on New Year’s Eve. Richard Ramsbotham considers this with 100 Years on from the Burning of the Goetheanum.
From Spain Michael Warden looks into the human condition, in the light of recent times and writes about how we respond to life and each other in Connecting Courage and Comprehension. These last three years in particular has seen a deterioration in the care people can receive to stay healthy. Where now with Health? by Bernard Jarman explores grass roots developments where people are coming together to address this, independent of orthodox health systems and institutions that are failing them.
Climate Watch finds Peter Taylor looking at dubious practices in information dissemination with Adjustments to Reality. David Newbatt, who has provided all the illustrations in this issue, offers an image and some words with The Three Births Through the Holy Nights.
Intentional Household Management by Frances Hutchinson looks at family, women and the home.
From America, we learn the history of The New Rudolf Steiner Archive and how this work can be supported in a piece by Dr. Christopher and Karin Wietrzykowski.
The Anglo-Russian Antagonism Part Three (Conclusion) sees Terry Boardman complete for now his look to Ukraine, the West and Russia.
Steiner referred to the importance of understanding the mystery surrounding Demetrius, the Tsar of Russia from 1605-1606. Richard Ramsbotham brings an introduction to an article by Gerald Brei to help this with Friedrich Schiller and ‘Demetrius’ – An Introduction.
This leads to the article by Gerald Brei, which appeared originally in German: Freedom in Schiller’s Works and his Implicit Tendency to Christianity. Thoughts on the 250th Anniversary of his Birth – Particularly focused on his Last Unfinished Drama: ‘Demetrius’. Our thanks to Der Europäer and Thomas Meyer for kind permission to reprint this, translated into English in this issue.
In the last issue we made an appeal to readers for donations to help us keep New View afloat. As ever, the readership responded generously and to date we have received just over £10,000, which is an enormous help, but we still have a way to go to get our heads properly above water and we will seek further ways to do this in the coming months. Advertising revenue has dropped dramatically (covid brought this about) and this issue had the least advertising revenue since I became its editor nearly 25 years ago. A number of readers have asked for our bank details, so, in case it helps, here they are:
Account Name: New View Sort code: 40-01-06 Account: 92183552, IBAN: GB61HBUK40010692183552 BIC Code: HBUKGB4105F
I am just so very grateful for all those who have helped and continue to help us at this time. We will get to Easter and hope that things improve beyond then.
But now I certainly want to wish you well for the time ahead and the New Year, wherever you may be.
Tom Raines – Editor