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Waldorf Journal Project

The Waldorf Journal Project, sponsored by the Waldorf Curriculum Fund and published by AWSNA Publications, brings to English-speaking audiences translations from essays, magazines, and specialized studies from around the world.

Journals are published twice a year and all articles in issues from 2002 to the present are available on the Online Waldorf Library.

Waldorf Journal Project 4: Sugar – The Sweet Addiction

Download the article: Sugar – The Sweet Addiction - The Unheeded Consequences of Sugar and Sugar Consumption
by Dr. Otto Wolff
Translated by Nina Kuettel

Over the last few years sugar has been increasingly blamed as the cause of various illnesses. Until recently the only two accepted truths healthwise about sugar were that diabetics should not eat it because they cannot adequately metabolize it, and that sugar promotes tooth decay. Additionally it has been written in numerous publications1 that sugar is a pathogenic factor in triggering nearly every illness and can be the cause of an illness worsening. Dr. M.O. Bruker has pointed out repeatedly in many publications in the German speaking world that refined sugar can not only cause illnesses and their worsening, but that it can also be the cause of food intolerances and various metabolic disorders.

There is so much emotion and fanaticism involved with food, and while there are those who reject even the smallest amount of sugar consumption, there are others who recommend it. This conflict will not be solved through passionate beliefs or through observation and experimentation alone. However, an examination of sugar and its special relationship to the human being is worthy of our attention. In order to reach a basis for judgment, I will start by looking at its essential nature.

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Waldorf Journal Project 4: Sunlight and Our Exposure to It

Download the article: Sunlight and Our Exposure to It
by Lüder Jachens
Translated by Nina Kuetell

When we go outside on a sunny day, in a short period of time we feel relaxed, calm, and refreshed. Sunlight creates a cheerful, calm mood; it increases our efficiency and brings joy to our work. Why this happens will be understood if we remain mindful how human beings stand united with their environment.

Sunlight provides our main source of sensory perception because sight, the taking in of light through the eyes, is the sense upon which we most heavily rely. The light we take in from the environment is just as important as the air that goes into our lungs and the liquids and solids that go into our mouth. The human organism takes in light not only through the eyes but also through the skin and even through the lungs when air, permeated with the sunlight of a bright summer day, is inhaled. It is essential to life that we “nourish” ourselves with light.

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Waldorf Journal Project 4: The Healing Power of Lively Thought

Download the article: The Healing Power of Lively Thought
by Walter Bühler
Translated by Nina Kuettel

The training of thought and memory
We need only look around a living room and it is soon clear that for all of the perceptible objects, from the table and chairs to the simplest things used on a daily basis, we owe our thanks to the creative activities of human hands. However, their work would not have been possible without a hidden inner activity. It points us to the mental-spiritual place where human thinking happens and we see that it is a wellspring of all outer creativity. The purposeful order in someone’s kitchen is thanks to the power of thinking just as much as the answer to the question of why the oven quit or the construction of a bridge over a river. People try, with their thinking, to penetrate the atomic structure of a grain of sand. Through thinking, one is placed within the polarity between the sense world and the extrasensory world. Within this expanse one tries to justify one’s inner standpoint in the same way that one stands with both feet on the ground in the sense world. Thinking imparts to people a consciousness that goes beyond mere self awareness. It is the gift of reason that first allowed human beings to take a personal stand in the world; to find their world view.

Thinking is a prerequisite for every human encounter because it is the source for understanding, trust, and common activity. We should ask ourselves once: Are we really conscious enough of the importance of thought to our humanity and our way of life? Some people get a clear message that the shining light of the power of thought is not something to be taken for granted – when they meet a mentally handicapped child or an old senile person whose thinking capacity has become severely limited and dulled. What a chasm opens up between us when, for whatever reason, someone is not able to follow our words with their own thought processes. What an uplifting feeling comes over us when we feel we are understood.

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Waldorf Journal Project 4: The Healing Power of Quiet Contemplation and Prayer

Download the article: The Healing Power of Quiet Contemplation and Prayer
by Hans-Werner Schroeder
Translated by Nina Kuettel

Questions concerning health and illness have played a large role in public discussions in the past few years now because of the enormous increase in healthcare costs. Today, it is often necessary to seek extraordinary medical interventions in order to get help and relief from illness. Cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, allergies of all kinds that have recently appeared, are just a few examples of the serious health problems that are increasingly threatening the physical well-being of human beings.

This applies not only to physical ailments. There are also diseases and ailments growing at an alarming rate that have their origins in the soul-spiritual aspect of human beings. It is not only that one has learned to more clearly recognize the soul aspect of many diseases such as where mental and spiritual behaviors and weaknesses work as catalysts for physical ailments or increase their severity (psychosomatic illnesses). Alcoholism, nicotine addiction, other drug addictions, physical-mental instability, depression, and angst, all the way to the more severe mental disorders (schizophrenia and schizoid disorders) have come like an ever-increasing avalanche that is breaking over us. We cannot deny its soul-spiritual origins.

Other articles in the Waldorf Journal Project have already said much about the effectiveness of curative, healing help. Now, here is a special look at The Healing Power of Prayer to add to the list. In this article the word “prayer” is simply a general term for people’s efforts in searching out ways to harmonize and internalize their soul life. Of course, prayer is, in a special sense, the most important foundation of all religious life and it will be expressly discussed. But also, for those who have no special religious ties or are not searching for any, there will perhaps be times when the power of balance, the kingdom of inner tranquility, maybe even an upward gaze to something greater than one’s self will be sought. Here, we would like to discuss methods and means available that instill tranquility and balance, and thereby stimulate the forces within human beings that contribute to their mental and spiritual health.

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Waldorf Journal Project 4: The Emergence of the Idea of Evolution at the Time of Goethe

Download the article: The Emergence of the Idea of Evolution at the Time of Goethe
by Frank Teichmann
Translated by Jon McAlice - First published in Interdisciplinary Aspects of Evolution, Urachhaus 1989

It is obvious to everyone today that the earth has gone through a long period of evolution. We know that this also hold true for plants, animals and the human being. It is also widely accepted that this applies not only to the kingdoms of nature, but that cultures, too, evolve, as do languages and forms of consciousness. The evolutionary approach has in fact become so widely accepted that today every good textbook begins with a chapter covering the evolution of the subject itself. Keeping this in mind, it is hard to fathom the fact that the concept of evolution is barely two hundred years old. Before that time there was no comparable concept. The contemporary meaning of the term evolution is the lawful change of what are usually sense-perceptible phenomena. For the biologist “evolution is a transformation of an organism in form and behavior, with the result that succeeding generations differ from those that preceded them.”1 Even more reflective of today’s mentality is the statement that “phylogenesis – the true meaning of evolution – is the creation of ever new programs of genetic information.”2 Rarely is attention paid to the fact that it is a ‘being’ which is evolving and thereby manifesting or revealing itself in various forms of appearance. This was, however, of the utmost importance to the early discoverers of the notion of evolution. A look at the origin of the idea should provide us insight into this.

The word ‘evolution’ has been in existence since Roman antiquity. At that time, it meant the unrolling of a scroll as it was being read. Everything that the scroll contained was ‘evolved’ or unrolled. It still has this meaning in relation to the development of a thought, when what is present as a whole in one’s consciousness is articulated step by step.3 It was essentially with this meaning that Kant used the term to describe the origin of the universe out of a gaseous mist in his General History of Nature. There he writes that it corresponds most closely to the nature of God if the celestial bodies are ‘uncoiled’ from matter in which mechanical laws hold sway. In other words, “that the origin of the world lies in a mechanical evolutionary process rooted in the general laws of nature.”

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Waldorf Journal Project 4: Osiris and Isis

Download the article: Osiris and Isis - For Grades 5–12

Translated from Norwegian by Ted Warren

During the ancient Egyptian culture Osiris and Isis emerged as the most central gods. The myth of Osiris who was killed by his brother Seth, and Isis who gives birth to Horus after his father’s death, lived at the core of Egyptian religion both as myth in the broad public and as esoteric knowledge among the leaders. Under the Twelfth Dynasty (roughly 2000 – 1800 BC), as Pharaohs Amenemhet I, Sesostris I, Amenemhet II, Sesostris II, Amenemhet III, Sesostris III, and Amenemhet IV ruled Egypt, thousands of people journeyed yearly to Abydos to experience the ritual, mystery plays of the myth of Osiris and Isis, Seth and Horus that were performed in ceremonial acts by priests (according to the hieroglyphic text on the I-cher-nofret-stone). We can also follow these myths far beyond the boundaries of Ancient Egypt in literature to the present day.

Read more: Waldorf Journal Project 4: Osiris and Isis

Waldorf Journal Project 4: Osiris and Isis, a Play

Download the play: Osiris and Isis
by Jorgen Smit
Translated from Norwegian by Ted Warren

Keywords: drama, plays

Waldorf Journal Project #3

All articles from this in issue:

Life’s Anxieties – Life’s Opportunities:Two Essays
Living Fearlessly with Anxiety:
The Therapeutic Mission of Fear in Human Development by Pietro Archiati
Transforming Consciousness through Anxiety Anxiety Phenomena in Daily Life and Its Opportunities by Felicitas Vogt
Sleep Disturbances and Healthy Sleep by Christa-Johanna Bub-Jachens
Nutrition: Modern Food: Is It Really Future-Oriented? by Petra Kühne
Food and Nutrition:
What Nourishes Our Children? and Problems of Nutrition - Too Fat, too Thin by Petra Kühne
The Feet Reveal the Human Will by Norbert Glas
Hearing: Door to the Soul and Spirit Around Us, with a Look at Technological Media by Heinz Buddemeier
The Unfolding of Sexuality by Mathias Wais
Puberty and Its Crisis: Educational Help in Overcoming Difficulties by Dr. Johannes Bockemühl
Drug Addiction: The Wake-up Call of Our Times by Felicitas Vogt
Education Seen as a Problem Involving the Training of Teachers by Rudolf Steiner

All individual articles from this issue can be found below

Waldorf Journal Project 3: Life’s Anxieties – Life’s Opportunities Anxiety and Its Importance to Inner Development

Two Essays
Download the article:
Living Fearlessly with Anxiety: The Therapeutic Mission of Fear in Human Development
by Pietro Archiati
Transforming Consciousness through Anxiety Anxiety Phenomena in Daily Life and Its Opportunities by Felicitas Vogt

Rudolf Steiner characterized what the results of the materialistic world view of the nineteenth century would be if, during the course of the twentieth century, this world view was not redeemed by a conscious, spiritual impulse. In a lecture series titled Becoming Human, World Soul, and World Spirit, he foretold that if a turning-toward the spiritual did not take place, there would be a “war of all against all” in the future. Steiner stated that during the time when materialistic intellectualism would bring imaginative life to its “highest level,” also raging within humankind’s subconscious would be that which “enslaved people in their instincts.”1

How can knowledge and insight of spiritual connections be gained? In a lecture given at Easter time on March 27, 1921, Steiner explained that this path can only be found through pain and suffering. With this foundation it is easy to understand that the present human situation is, in many ways, fear provoking.

Only a spiritual world view in opposition to materialism can free us from the present condition. Only a world view that embraces the reality of the spiritual can counterbalance the destructive effects of a materialistic world view. There must be a turnaround that works on all of us since we are all
permeated by materialistic beliefs. The following article is a combination of two lectures were given by Felicitas Vogt and Pietro Archiati in the spring of 1996 at the delegate’s conference for the Anthroposophical Medical Society. The theme of these essays is the justification and the task of fear in our time.

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Waldorf Journal Project 3: Sleep Disturbances & Healthy Sleep

Download the article: Sleep Disturbances & Healthy Sleep
by Christa-Johanna Bub-Jachens

Introduction
Sleep disturbances are a very common problem. In industrialized nations especially, many people suffer from some form of sleep disturbance. Data about the frequency varies between twenty-five and fifty percent of the population.

Sleep disturbances are not illnesses in the real sense of the word. They are symptoms of a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual impairments. Before we begin looking more closely at sleep disturbances, let us ask ourselves: What is sleep? Why do we need to sleep? Where are we when we sleep?

If we can get some insight into these questions, then we will be able to find answers as to why so many people today suffer from sleep disturbances. We must ask ourselves what the meaning is behind sleep disturbances, what are their causes, in order to finally understand how we can counteract them.

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