In my last post, I answered the first of three questions posed to me by a friend who is opening a new education initiative in Australia. I’d like to address the second of her questions in this post.
The question is as follows:
In choosing the individuals that are brought into the group in the second phase (after the initial group has formed a few classes and given the organisation a name and a location), should those individuals have qualities that we seek (a clear balance between spiritual awareness and practical skill) or do we select individuals who are strong in one particular area?
Actually I can’t adequately answer this.
I feel torn between having a feeling for what I would do in such a situation, but I am not in this situation, and thus the other feeling is one of having truly no idea.
It really depends on the context, but also seems to me to be an area moved by providence, of which we (or at least I feel myself to) have very limited understanding of.
I’m going to simplify the question for myself again:
In choosing the individuals that are brought into the group in the second phase, should those individuals have a balance of the qualities that we seek or do we select individuals who are strong in one particular area?
Our judgement can be so easily clouded when deciding upon people. I would rely very much more on a feeling of ‘matchedness’ to the spirit of a school and it’s form, than to judge whether someone is balanced between having spiritual and practical skills. I would be looking for a willingness to develop, grow and learn rather than a willingness to (apparently) comply. Individuals’ striving will always influence the movement (function) of a school.
Each individual chosen to be part of the initiative should always show a clear willingness and ability to work with the spirit and the form of the school, to help it function in a balanced way; but there are, possibly, appropriate times for exceptions to this.
I actually have my own questions that I would take with me on my learning journey about this subject. For example, if a school is strongly weighted to either over-philosophising to the point that it becomes righteousness, or over-forming to the point that it becomes deadening, should it seek people to break this trend? Will it naturally attract such people (providence)? Will those already within the structure be able to take such a risk (out of necessity)? Can this at all be positive on the school’s biography if engineered by us?
Each person has some progressive spark to contribute to an institution if they are genuinely drawn towards the work; however sometimes their striving is misplaced and the negative impact of their influence outweighs the positive. This is very damaging, though I am not entirely sure that it is avoidable.
In a lecture series titled Chance, Providence and Necessity, Rudolf Steiner speaks about the definition and reality of necessity. Below are two quotes to ponder:
“Everything to which we must ascribe necessity has left the subjective realm and become objective (Lecture 4)”. That is, what is past is necessary, it can not be undone and it is objective fact. Our feelings about our memory of it, is a subjective experience still and can be worked on, but we can not change what has been by anything we do in the present or future.
“Necessities don’t always have to happen. We have to keep happenings and necessities apart. (Lecture 5)”. It is in fact possible for us to stop the necessitous from happening through human will. We can create our own happenings, our will does have power. This is not a moral judgement, but just something to keep in mind.
Quite wonderfully, this lecture series is available to listen to here and I think it would give some strength to understanding this question from a wider perspective; which is what I invite you all to do – brave the wilderness of not-knowing, climb to a higher conceptual point and see if more clarity is afforded you (though you might choose another path than this lecture series, naturally). This walking-into-the-wilderness-of-not-knowing always helps me end up with many more questions and far fewer answers, which is such an enlivening place to be!
I feel that the original question in this post is an important question to hold in mind, but that we, with our vastly limited wisdom may not be able to be masters of its answer easily. I certainly feel inept to answer this question, though I believe there must be people with good experience who are able to contribute a lot more insight to it.
Please feel free to include your insights below if you are called to.