Human beings unconsciously seek the healing of the universal artistic qualities. Therein live the workings of the Creative Logos, which are the helping forces. Thereby in therapeutic fields one can view a path into the spiritual scientific healing arts. Anthroposophy is usually understood to mean’knowledge of the human being’ or, in a fuller sense, ‘consciousness of one’s humanity’. Whether or not the individuals in need of healing can consciously glean a deeper understanding of this is dependent on their readiness and the interest involved as well as the therapist’s judgement and ability ‘to speak the language of each individual’. That is an art in itself. It has also to do with explaining therapies to parents in the Rudolf Steiner Schools.
These judgement and abilities sometimes have directly to do with karmic connections between client and therapist, indeed a special destinymeeting may occur. In most cases, however there is an inspirational quality, which at the right time can shed light on the frame of reference existing in the temperament and character of the individual clients. One can imagine what kind of experiences may exist in their daily lives?
Of course, healing is the essential objective. My work is in anthroposophical therapeutic speech and painting. Above all, one must remember that it is the colours and the sounds that ultimately carry the healing. In art, intellectual involvement is to be kept at a minimum. Usually, if a breakthrough has been accomplished for a client, there is a moment of openness, or even a question from the client as to how this has occurred. At that time, depending on the individual, one might refer to the anthroposophical truth behind the healing, always being careful to speak in the language of the individual, when possible.
Especially valuable are workshops with processes, such as the ColourWheel with Vowels and Rhythms, the Platonic Solids, and Fairy Tales or my Story in Motion, where a progression of healing experience can bring intimations concerning the process of reincarnation, This can be experienced, for example, within the growing and becoming from morning to night, through the seasons of the year and from youth to old age. One can enliven and objectify painting or mime for autistic or deaf clients, using the universal overviews in Aristotle’s Categories. The transformations of the death experience can be conveyed in the telling and painting George Macdonald’s stories, as well as in Aboriginal legends, etc. All of this comes out of the wisdom of man, which does not belong only to Anthroposophy. In these artistic experiences one can experience the full circle in all its healing value.
Books such as Sing me the Creation by Paul Matthews (Hawthorn Press,1994) open up creative talents objectively. Those who have suffered and are open to the Christ can often benefit from poetry out of anthroposophical wisdom such as the following poem by Albert Steffen.
After autumn wind and weather
have destroyed your house and harvest,
sun yourself in seven colours
In the rainbow bridges brightness.
After storms of age’s autumn
that have torn your heart in two,
heal yourself with seven tone-notes
on the harp your angel holds.
After hammerblows of demons
that have broke your earth built body,
guide yourself by seven roses
growing on the cross to Christ.
My destiny experience in the work removed from the protective atmosphere enfolding anthroposophical institutions, began almost two decades ago. Speech formation and painting out of the colour wisdom of Rudolf Steiner’s Sketches has not yet been integrated into every Steiner School, for example. It is still by and large a pioneer work. New faculties must be accepted, understood and developed in order to fulfil this work. But those who believe in the potential of the consciousness soul are not hesitant to take on the challenge
Imagine a public hospital, residential or aged-care centre, a day-care centre for ‘challenged persons’, an International School, or an alternative education department in a foreign university. At first glance those working in a daily routine don’t really focus on the new activity going on around them. People are varied in their reactions as they are everywhere.
One nurse may really care and endeavour to have the patient up and ready for the session. Another may feel aggravated or even subliminally jealous of the artistic activity, which may appear like play, amidst the fuss and bustle of daily routines. In a day room there may be a continual battle with televisions disturbing the therapy. But consistent efforts eventually pay off, combined with a concentrated positive and sympathetic approach. A breath of fresh air is breathed into impersonal atmospheres where therapeutic art is regularly practiced.
In my observations the rapport between occupational therapists and the artistic therapies has improved here in Melbourne in the past ten years, as art therapy is more integrated into their programs instead of being in competition with their work..
Yet, sometimes, despite all trials and smiles, it is sometimes necessary to seek the oasis of civilisation, which sometimes alive in anthroposophical communities. We all need the place where there exists innate understanding from time to time, though the feeling of home is wherever one’s destiny may be fulfilled.
In group therapies with children, challenged people, and in aged care facilities, there is often help from the staff members present. They gain a glimpse into anthroposophical therapy, but when the therapeutic specialist, who is perhaps not a permanent worker, goes on to other situations, the untrained staff members may sometimes attempt to carry on the work without the professional qualifications. This can sometimes be detrimental for those concerned. The skills of the specialists are irreplaceable.
One only has to remember the look of wonder when a child discovers colour secrets, or the ensuing warmth of soul when a speech problem has been overcome etc. to rekindle enthusiasm. Of course this prevails no matter whether the setting be ‘anthroposophical’ or in the so called ‘world-at-large’. The more that the inner feeling of true earthly values lives in all work situations, the more in tune one can become with the helping forces.