So very inspiring

As I go through my day, I often mull over possible blog posts. While I’m washing dishes, while I’m driving the kids to daycare, while I’m scanning through emails. (I know, I’m not doing a good job being in the moment. I’ll get there eventually.)

I was mulling over a new post relating to a health article I just read on my feed reader. Then I came across something much more important and compelling, and an odd case of synchronicity, as well.

This morning I have been editing some Steiner lectures. While otherwise quite esoteric–the lecture cycle is called Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature–and specific (talking about the mineral kingdom and how it is formed by the spiritual hierarchies), the end of the lecture I edited today took a more encompassing turn:

In a real way we will attain love and peace and harmony, if we direct our vision away from the concerns of Earth that divide humanity into races, nations, and religions and direct it toward the starry heavens, where spirits speak the same language to us through all eternity—the same language for every human soul, for every human heart, if only we understand it rightly. (Helsinki, 14 April 1912)

Then in my iGoogle news feed, I came across an article on the speech Barack Obama made yesterday regarding race in America. I read the entire transcript, and I was blown away by how inspiring his words were. (And even more inspired that he apparently wrote the thing himself the evening before. I’m very skeptical that the current holder of the Oval Office has ever done could do that.) In the speech I found this gem, which corresponds neatly with what Steiner was getting at almost 100 years ago:

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

Steiner wrote and spoke many times about how thinking along the lines of races, nations, and any separations between human beings as being things of the past. That we need to find what is universal, what can join us together as human beings. It seems that Mr. Obama is saying the same thing, in a much less esoteric and more topical form.

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13 Comments

Filed under Anthroposophy, Blogging, Deep Thoughts, editing

13 responses to “So very inspiring

  1. I was also completely inspired, but from a historical perspective. His ability to cogently discuss the Constitution and slavery as well as the impact of segregation on our parents’ generation was inspired. I just wish the media could get it too.

  2. I’ve been thinking a lot about Obama’s speech lately also- it was inspiring. I love both the quotes you put in this post today. I’m glad you wrote this; I’ve been dealing with some issues relating to all this myself this week and there is so much wisdom in what you have written.

  3. I’m kind of neutral about Obama from out here in the sticks. Though to be honest, anyone other than another Republican government would do the rest of world just fine. But I can’t argue with the sentiment!

  4. Sarah: I agree, he seems to have put a lot of historical perspective into his thoughts on this issue. And he doesn’t seem to want to fall back on simple, good-and-evil, black-and-white (ha!) dichotomies, but rather to accept that race is a complex issue. I especially like how he acknowledged that there is anger and bitterness on both “sides”, and that we all must acknowledge what has happened in the past that has created the reality of today.

    Dawn: I’m glad this post spoke to you. I usually stay away from politics in general, but this was just too much to pass up on. I haven’t followed this election much at all, to tell you the truth, and missed changing my voter registration to vote in the primary,but I realized that it’s probably time to start paying attention.

    URD: Well, I’m not sure I would consider London “the sticks” even if I am part of this US-centric culture! I’m also not sure “anyone other” is the exact answer, though I understand the feeling behind that, and certainly it is true to some degree. I was very interested at one point in Hillary Clinton for several reasons, but I’m a bit off her now. My husband pointed out once that if she were president, she could appoint Bill to be secretary of state–which is intriguing, but I still don’t think I’ll vote for her.

  5. rishathra

    To address the media reaction to Obama’s speech, the best reaction that I saw to it was on the Daily Show. After showing an extended clip of the speech, John Stewart paused then simply said, “Wow, a politician talking to us about race as if we were adults.”
    Prior to this I was ambivalent about Obama. I felt that he had a lot of positive but basically empty slogans to give us and not much else. After this speech I find myself re-evaluating him and thinking that either way the democratic nomination falls we’ll be in pretty good hands.

  6. Bex

    It makes me so happy to think that the world’s polititians are finally starting to “get it”.
    I am about to return home to a country that has recently changed leadership to a more positive way (thank goodness!) & I really wish the same for the USA.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you & ultimately, for all of us…Xxx

  7. Hopewaits

    The “gem” was taken from God’s scriptures long before Steiner was alive.
    Hmmm, believe God or Steiner?
    Perhaps God’s word is a better way to live life.

  8. Nana

    Obama nailed it with that speech. It was as close to perfect as any speech given by JFK.
    I know, because I heard the Kennedy speeches on live TV. Absolutely inspiring.

    But, there’s a glitch (there is always a glitch when dealing with human nature).

    Not everyone will make the effort required to achieve the unity so many of us dream of. For some it will be greed; the fear that they will lose some of their wealth and power. But for most it will be simple apathy. Simple apathy.

  9. Rishathra: I know, treating Americans like educated adults. Revolutionary!

    Bex: I was happy about that regime change too!

    Hopewaits: Steiner was raised Roman Catholic, and maintained a deep spiritual commitment over his whole life. I find inspiration from many spiritual leaders and writers, all of whom at root say the same things Jesus did.

    Nana: I suppose it’s easy to be apathetic in two situations: when you’re in power to begin with, or you’ve been stripped of all your power and feel hopeless. Unfortunately as our country seems to be going more and more in the direction of two strata (rich/poor, white/other, Christian/other, etc.) it will be harder and harder to feel personally powerful and able to contribute to our society.

  10. I am watching what is happening in the US with interest. It seems that soon you might have a very different president to the current one, and if it is Barack Obama I do hope he manages to uphold his goals in office.

    Steiner’s words remind me of one of my favourite phrases at the moment:

    “World peace starts at home.”

  11. Nana

    I think the largest group of apathetic Americans is the comfortable middle class.

    The wealthy and powerful are intent on keeping what they’ve got and are very actively involved in ensuring their place in society.

    The poor have their champions, who are very vocal and well organized.

    These are, of course, generalizations. Nevertheless, they are indicators of typical American attitudes.

  12. I love Obama’s message. It’s simple and true and inspiring. I hope he can keep those ideals when/if he becomes leader.

  13. I have great hope from this speech. Maybe, logic, reasoning and love will infiltrate our nation.

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