Current production: “This War is Not Inevitable” – an account of the birth of the idea of Rudolf Steiner’s Threefold Social Organism in 1917

Our next tour starts in early September and will take us to various places in the USA. It follows on from a tour we did earlier in the year. There is a review of this first tour below.

ITINERARY. THIS WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE – SECOND TOUR, SEPTEMBER 3rd TO NOVEMBER 26th

  • 7:30 PM Tue. Sept. 4th – San Diego, CA 4135 54th Pl

  • 7:30 PM Sat. Sept. 8th – Troy, WI

  • 7:30 PM Sat. Sept. 15th – Chicago, IL

  • 7:30 PM Tue. Sept. 18th – Ann Arbor, MI

  • 7:30 PM Fri. Sept. 21st – Minneapolis, MN 70 County Rd B E, St Paul, MN

  • 7:30 PM Sat. Sept. 22nd – Souk Center, MN

  • 7:00 PM Thurs. Oct. 4th – Hartsbrook, MA

  • 7:00 PM Montpelier, VT

  • 7:00 PM Fri. Oct. 12th – Wilton, NH

  • 7:00 PM Sat. Oct. 13th – Lexington, MA

  • 1:00 PM Sun. Oct. 14th – Cape Cod, MA

  • 7:30 PM Fri. Oct. 19th – Copake, NY

  • Wed. Oct. 24th – Chestnut Ridge, NY 7:00PM

  • 7:30 PM Sat. Oct. 27th – Washington, DC

  • 7:30 PM Sat. Nov. 3rd – Austin Texas

  • 7:30 PM  Tue. Nov. 6th & Thu. Nov 8th – Palo Alto, CA

  • 7pm or 7.30pm  Sat. Nov 10th – Christian community Church, Denver, Colorado
  • 7 PM Tues Nov. 13th-  Carbondale near Aspen. Performance at the Helios Centre- CANCELLED
  • 8:00 PM Fri. Nov. 16th, Namba Arts, 47 S Oak St. – Ventura, CA

  • 8:00 PM Sat. Nov. 17th, Namba Arts, 47 S Oak St. – Ventura, CA

 

REVIEW OF OUR FIRST TOUR FROM CHRISTIAN AND MICHAEL

Michael’s is first – includes poetry and is nine pages long! Christian’s is a more proper length – you can skip to that if you don’t like poetry or writing that is too long! [Written between 19th and 24th April, 2018.]

Dear all,

This goes out first of all to many of the North Americans whom we met on our tour. The tour is now completed – three months away from home for Christian and me – and I’ll try and give a bit of a picture of it. I’m starting to write it at the Los Angeles Airport and will finish back in New Zealand.

I enjoyed it all so much I stayed an extra day! Well, I didn’t mean to but my flight from Newark was delayed because of bad weather and I had an extra day here. It turned into a blessing, however, for I caught up all my emails and can go home with a nice “pro-active” feeling instead of the usual “always-trying-to-catch-up” feeling that one usually has when doing a tour.

It has been less than three months since we arrived and so much has happened. Christian and I had only once met before – for about ten seconds – and how would it be? There he was in Los Angeles Airport just after I’d arrived – a young man of six foot three (easy to spot) with the flu! That made us rest up for a few days before starting our rehearsals at the homes of our dear friends Christine and Debbie. Christine gave us some direction and much wonderful love and hospitality and we had great fun at these rehearsals, especially when we tried out all sorts of crazy, over-the-top ideas in our work with the subsidiary characters. There was more time to rehearse in Hawaii and then came first high school performance in Honolulu after less than three weeks work together and the first ever full show at the Kolisko Conference. Then Maui – much smaller but a considerably better performance – and some time off in the incredible scenery, culminating in a trip with Keith to Haleakola and trying to shift the mists by all of us thinking of a dodecahedron. (It worked partially – our thinking can’t be quite strong enough yet.) And Los Angeles at Urban First Aid and Ohai where most of the audience knew very little of Steiner. This was unfortunately the only group like that on our tour, although we met individuals who fitted into that category. Non-Steiner people tend to be very rewarding audiences because they are meeting these ideas afresh and some of them are blown away by the experience! The TSO is basically common sense and few people found it too confusing or had any problems with the content.

That was the first phase of the tour. So much could be said about every venue. Perhaps you can intuit something of the drama behind the drama if, instead of writing in the normal prosaic way about every place, I write a little of the poetry that came to me at certain times in certain places:

Good people
trapped in a bad system
make the world go round the way it does.

Good people
extricating themselves from this bad system

will redeem the world.

Find the courage, people,
to respond to the voice of freedom in your heart –

the call to become practitioners of love.

You need not serve the old gods any longer.
Through the steps that you are taking, you assist the great transition

 from the old world into a world made new.

(On flight between Auckland and Los Angeles, 18th Jan)

 

This tour was a real journey – an experience, first of all, of the many obstructions to the flow of love that is constantly around us. Out of a combination of the theme we were carrying and my interest in going behind the scenes of current affairs in the spirit of Steiner’s lecturing in 1917, the poems came:

Those who know cannot sleep.
Those who sleep do not know.
Humanity stands poised at an abyss where many

 are destroyed on the rocks of fear and hate…

                                                                                                 (Ventura, 27th Jan)

 

 

Is the world softening to the touch of good?
Lovers of the earth all long for this but they have learned

that it is dangerous to hope.

 

Sorrows feasted always on their dreams, they found,

and goodness asked too much from them

and gave back nothing in return.

 

But some are sensing that it’s different now.

There is a turning in the world
and it is real and beautiful and profound.

 

I almost dance with them. My soul has aged
through all these years of waiting and these days of dark

and just one soft part of my heart is saying to me
that the Sun is absolutely certain soon to rise.

                                                                                                   (Ventura, 19th Jan)

 

The fight against evil
is not meant to be short.
You came to the earth to be part of this.
In the struggle you find your brothers and sisters.

And isn’t it glorious to fight for truth!
Keep love in your hearts that shall never tire
and in your belly, fierceness and fire…

(Ventura, 22nd Jan)

 

Hawaii opened a new door in which the experiences of the tour began to resonate with deeper meaning:

The future king within me
gives meat to the spiralling white serpent

 that lives behind his eyes.

 

He knows the axe shall fall.
He knows that he must live when all that previously gave him support

 is taken from him.

 

He feeds the serpent
and prepares himself
for when the axe shall fall.

                                                                                                  (Honolulu, 10th Feb)

 

As the old icons crumble
there’s no skiff large enough to hold all the debris;

sometimes it seems we’ll drown in our own wastes.

 

Pay heed to the fall of the spirits of darkness, but look up

towards the light. Light strikes aggressively at darkness

but, even in the midst of battle, it does more than that.

 

It needs your gentle heart, your healing hands.

It asks that you plant seeds –
seeds which the light would raise.

 

In times of destruction
plant the seeds that you’ve been given.

They are needed that the earth

become fruitful once more.

 

The renewal of the earth in the ways of God

will not be complete
until your hands and your heart
have played their part.

(Honolulu, 11th Feb)

It gets harder to meet them –
those who have not broken down their idols yet.
They live in nice houses;
they do quite nicely, thank you, from the status life bestows on them.

It gets harder to bear
the speech that is not purified by fire.
People use clichés and do not see
the ideology that they subscribe to like a drug.

It gets harder to hear
the lies, the lies, the lies.
Spewed forth in endless torrents of distraction,
don’t you long to turn them off and bathe in pure, clear truth!

It gets harder, my friend.
But it gets richer and more meaningful as well.
Each statement of truth is a deed against the powers of darkness –

each act of will, a step upon the road to victory.

(Kula, Maui, 27th Feb)

 

And then, after Hawaii, we started up the coast – Santa Fe and the first taste of Camphill hospitality, Sacramento, where we did a nice big performance in that large auditorium and stayed with Jim Willets without whose support we would probably never have come at all, Sebastapol, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver Island and Vancouver. It was an exhausting period – there is nothing like arriving somewhere, doing a lighting rehearsal, performing, talking with folks till late, packing up and heading off again at 6am the next morning. The body can only take so much of that, even though we were loving it and starting to be able to relax into the show. In Sacramento the comment was first made that the really good relationship between Christian and I came across very clearly in performances and was perhaps the best part of the show! And in Sacramento I began to be inspired by themes connected with the 1776 American Revolution and its repetition in our time:

Stay focused, patriots,
stay focused on what’s good.
Ignore the noises coming from the swamp.

The creatures of the swamp are suffering now

the pain of light.
The white light burns them,
driving them crazy with its benediction of truth.

(Sacramento, 17th March)

 

Behind everything that happens in life – not just to us but to everyone if they are awake to notice – there are symbolic openings into the higher worlds that accompany us:

We wrestle not with flesh and blood
but with principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness,

 with spiritual wickedness in high places –
spiritual wickedness in high places.

 

Every day we wrestle with them.
They oppose us relentlessly; they never sleep.

See behind the mask of flesh
the powers at work in friend and foe.

 

Have compassion on those who tread the earth.

Blindly they wander and think they see.
Have compassion on those who tread the earth

but dare to witness to the rulers of light.

(Portland, 23rd March)

 

Easter gave us a wonderful break – time to rest and be open to an extraordinary part of the world. For three consecutive days I could be present in Vancouver Island at a study of Holy Week with a group of wonderful women. This worked a major transformation in me and took my exhaustion away. Ita Wegman is reported to have said that this part of the North West has healing powers, and there are people living there who have taken this to heart:

Against sloth,
inertia,
and despair,
awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

Fire ignites courage.
Courage fires the will.
The will moves mountains.
Awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

Fire is the doorway to creative strength.
Fire sears the darkness of the malignant swamp.
Fire moves the mountainous rubble of resisting matter.

Awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

When there is fire in patriots’ hearts,
their voices become
the vehicle by which
new streams of righteousness are spread across the world.

Awaken in us, Lord, creative fire!

Awaken in us, Lord, creative fire!

(Vancouver, 26th March)

 

Because of the reality of the times it is necessary to fight inner battles, and in the North West it was as if I was assisted by what was living in this land:

I will splinter you into a thousand pieces,

entity of evil,
who has bequeathed your darkness,
as a plague of locusts,

on the earth.

 

And I will scatter all those pieces to the winds.

They’ll find themselves adrift, and, face to face

with Death,
they shall experience for the first time then

Death unredeemed by Love.

 

What made them think that they could bear
the face of Death?
Cast from the world that lovingly has held them,

even them,

they see, too late, the nature of the Beast they served.

 

Splintered from each other
and condemned to swarm like locusts,
they endure the torment of existence without God.

The majesty of the Love that they reject
torments them. Darkness takes them for its own.

(Vancouver, 1st April, Easter Sunday)

In Vancouver we had our biggest audience. It happened the day after Easter and was certainly due to the way organizers had prepared talks before we got there. I was myself given the opportunity to speak on Good Friday at the Christian Community about the play we were performing and its connection to the new mystery drama, written in the five years between 2012 and 2017. I had always felt the Threefold play was actually a prelude to this. We got to Vancouver and, the night we arrived, Marie Reine Adams’ group was actually performing scenes from the second of Steiner’s Mystery Dramas – what amazing synchronicity! This freed me to talk about the themes of the new Mystery Drama in a way I had never been able to before. The themes are so very related to our times and there is information here that was inspired and I think can’t be found anywhere else:

  • The strengthening of Ahriman in our time, the attack of the Asuras, and the response to these of the etheric Christ,
  • The help of the Nathan Child in a new incarnation,
  • The redemption of thinking that can arise in us if we trace thinking’s

origin back to Ancient Greece,

  • The effects on a community of the breakthrough of a single

individual,

  • The awakening of the will in connection with the Threefold Social

Organism,

  • The path taken by different individuals towards fraternity in the

economic realm,

  • The way the new spirit of fraternity can overcome demonic

destruction such as that which has lamed the Anthroposophical Society since the exclusion of Ita Wegman in 1935.

 

The story of how the Threefold play arose out of this Mystery Drama is a very amazing one and, inspired by what happened in Vancouver, I am offering to speak more on this subject wherever possible during our second tour.

What had flowered in our North West experiences went on bearing fruit through the wintry, snow-filled days in Toronto:

Easter should unfold within you
slowly.
It doesn’t happen all at once.
It works deep magic in the cells
until you realize one day that from you something has been freed.

 

Then you must follow what is coming into being

independently of you.
Observe it as it grows and strengthens through your life.

It is the Christ. …

(Kimberton, 15th April)

In Toronto we did something we hadn’t done before – we performed at a retirement home, Hesperus, and did for the first time a shortened version of the play, taking out some of Steiner’s longer speeches and bringing it all back to 65 minutes.

Hawthorn Valley was Christian’s home town and the performances there in his old school and at Copake were very joyful occasions. We hit a crisis point there and immediately afterwards, financial and spiritual – things can’t go on being only good – but we got through and finished strongly at Camphill Kimberton.

… Your own will gradually grows less important.
All you care about is that the will of Him who dwells within you

 reign supreme.
You reach out more and more towards those in whom
a similar event has come to pass. …

(Continuation of poem from Kimberton, 15th April)

There is so much that could have been said, but I’ve chosen this approach through poetry because a poem can be a gateway to what is really happening. Yes, this tour was a wonderful MYSTERY DRAMA for us. It was more than just two guys travelling around doing a play.

Because there is demand for it, I am already planning the next tour. We did not break even on this tour – I ended up about $1,500 short of this, but next tour we won’t need extra time for rehearsals and we have also learned much better to state our needs to the places where we go. I think Christian and I both continue to feel a great faith that we are in the right place at the right time.

On the plane home I read a wonderful book about social threefolding by a non- Anthroposophist, given to me by a woman in Toronto. The writer, Henry Mitzberg, is a professor of economics at a Canadian university. The clarity and commonsense of it comes across so clearly as he describes the TSO in terms of what is happening in the world today. Society forms naturally into three parts – business is private, politics is public, but the realm where people work out of interests in common (what Steiner called the spiritual-cultural sphere and much more difficult than the other two to see working in its full significance) is as important as these; it is the place where the new and creative must come from. Exactly what we are saying in the play but reworked into a new form for our time.

In our thinking we have to work continually into an area of finding the new that is not created directly from polarity. In group dynamics one way, when faced with a clash, is that one party exercises domination and control. Another way is to make a compromise between them. But the really new way comes when one of the parties exercises their creativity and something quite new arises. This is threefolding in action – resisting the immediate dynamic of either/or and seeking together the way of creativity. I was asked once in a discussion after the play where I see the TSO happening and gave an answer that involved Sekem and the Philippines. Although these are good examples of big things happening, we have to remember how big things today are soul-sized. If I were asked the same question today I would reply differently – it is everywhere; we simply have to learn to think differently and we are creating it.

If only we had the budget to go out into regular theatres and meet with non- Steiner people! So many lectures are given, but the arts transcend the experiences that can come to people on this route. Sometimes I feel like the person a friend from England, Sarah Kane, called me in an email the other day – “… a solitary knight fighting for what is right amidst many who no longer recognise what that is.” In some ways, yes, but everywhere we went we also met people who are taking up the challenge to think differently and are forming partnerships that are transforming society.

Our work is not yet over and we hope to see some of you again in North America between September and November.

 

All good wishes

from Michael

 

Let the news travel from house to house!
Let the lanterns swing that fill your hearts with courage!

Rally around the one who leads an army to uphold the right!

Awaken as you did two centuries ago on that midnight ride!

(Sacramento, 17th March)

 

And some final words, written on my first day back in New Zealand:

 

The power of three

First there is power and control.
Then there is compromise.
Neither works completely. Try the
way of creativity.

and strike a dynamic balance between polarities.

Invent something that has never existed before

out of the synthesis of yin and yang.

Every moment is an opportunity
to exercise creative artistry,
freed from the chains of
what has been.

(Flight between Auckland and Blenheim, 19th April)

 

From Christian. Written on 20th April,. Catskill, NY:


A Brief Review of the This War Is Not Inevitable Tour 2018

Three whole months have come and gone! I find myself in the same spot as I did before it all happened: Catskill, NY. Coming back here from the whirlwind of a different city each night feels a bit like stepping back into some other dimension. Some things, like small towns, never change, somehow, and yet people continuously do. I’m left here with a feeling of gratitude, and a mixture of excitement and exhaustion.

It’s hard for me to imagine that just a few months ago I was leaving for LA to meet Michael, the journey still ahead and the adventure awaiting. So, first thing I should do, I thought, is contract the flu! So I did. And what a first impression it was at LAX. Me, walking into the airport dragging a huge suitcase full of an unnecessary amount of cologne and toiletries, to see this man sitting there at a cafe in a blue blazer, jet lagged, and different from the one I was used to seeing on the Skype icon. We were both, to say the least, in sub par shape; and yet it goes on (a theme that would prove extremely useful during the touring process).

We chatted briefly, dazedly, both of us in a stupor of our own. But, we decided to get the bus to Ventura before it was too late. Shortly over an hour later we’d arrive at the foot of a luxurious hotel near the port of Ventura. The air was already clean and brimming with the sea air. It was magnificent. “You didn’t tell me we were staying at a resort, Michael.” A prelude to all the future jokes Michael would have to deal with.

We were picked up by Christine Burke, a soon to be friend of mine, and the journey could really begin. Well, it would really have to wait five days until I could get out of bed again. At least I’m getting it out now, right.

A few weeks of rehearsing did not seem like a long enough time. We used the living room in the house I was staying in (Michael was just two doors down from me with Christine and I stayed with her friend Debbie). Costumes and props didn’t seem to be an issue, and we used the living room space adequately enough to try to simulate a minor stage and potential audience. The real jump came just before we left for Hawaii when Christine decided to hold a little showing for a handful of friends at her mother’s place up the road. After being exposed to a few strangers we were really ready to start. Just joking, we were never really ready to start until our final performance in Kimberton, PA. And yet it goes on.

There is really so much to be said about each place we stopped off in and each group of people we encountered and formed bonds with. Unique individuals, all working hard to forward their progress and make an impact here on earth. From Honolulu to Maui, LA, Ojai and Ventura, all the way through Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Hawthorne Valley, NYC and Kimberton. All I can say to reflect on this at the moment is that I am grateful to the people and these amazing places I would not have seen otherwise. There is such a special energy to each different location, even the Hawaiian Islands are vastly different from each other. And I must say if we’d stayed a little longer in Honolulu or Vancouver I may not have left again. At least now I have these places and these people there to look forward to if I can go back again, and, especially if we can bring the play back again with more fervour and gusto than before. Now that we’ve built relationships it would be the best to try to expand our audiences and venues in some of the major cities we’ve been in i.e Toronto, Vancouver, LA, NYC etc. And not only that but we’d be seeing all the lovely people again that we encountered along the way.

 

 

Michael’s is first – includes poetry and is nine pages long! Christian’s is a more proper one-page length and starts on p.10 – you can skip to that if you don’t like poetry or writing that is too long! [Written between 19th and 24th April.]

Dear all,

This goes out first of all to many of the North Americans whom we met on our tour. The tour is now completed – three months away from home for Christian and me – and I’ll try and give a bit of a picture of it. I’m starting to write it at the Los Angeles Airport and will finish back in New Zealand.

I enjoyed it all so much I stayed an extra day! Well, I didn’t mean to but my flight from Newark was delayed because of bad weather and I had an extra day here. It turned into a blessing, however, for I caught up all my emails and can go home with a nice “pro-active” feeling instead of the usual “always-trying-to-catch-up” feeling that one usually has when doing a tour.

It has been less than three months since we arrived and so much has happened. Christian and I had only once met before – for about ten seconds – and how would it be? There he was in Los Angeles Airport just after I’d arrived – a young man of six foot three (easy to spot) with the flu! That made us rest up for a few days before starting our rehearsals at the homes of our dear friends Christine and Debbie. Christine gave us some direction and much wonderful love and hospitality and we had great fun at these rehearsals, especially when we tried out all sorts of crazy, over-the-top ideas in our work with the subsidiary characters. There was more time to rehearse in Hawaii and then came first high school performance in Honolulu after less than three weeks work together and the first ever full show at the Kolisko Conference. Then Maui – much smaller but a considerably better performance – and some time off in the incredible scenery, culminating in a trip with Keith to Haleakola and trying to shift the mists by all of us thinking of a dodecahedron. (It worked partially – our thinking can’t be quite strong enough yet.) And Los Angeles at Urban First Aid and Ohai where most of the audience knew very little of Steiner. This was unfortunately the only group like that on our tour, although we met individuals who fitted into that category. Non-Steiner people tend to be very rewarding audiences because they are meeting these ideas afresh and some of them are blown away by the experience! The TSO is basically common sense and few people found it too confusing or had any problems with the content.

That was the first phase of the tour. So much could be said about every venue. Perhaps you can intuit something of the drama behind the drama if, instead of writing in the normal prosaic way about every place, I write a little of the poetry that came to me at certain times in certain places:

Sap streaming
in sleeping purity.
All that I see surrounding me is saying ‘yes’ to the will of God.

And only I say ‘no’, refusing stubbornly to surrender.

Am I condemned
through having freed myself from the chains of grace?

 

Long the path that the hermit treads.
He comes in time to the Temple of the Grail.
His words set free the one who, on behalf of all, is suffering there.

(In New Zealand shortly before setting out)

 

Good people
trapped in a bad system
make the world go round the way it does.

Good people
extricating themselves from this bad system

will redeem the world.

 

Find the courage, people,
to respond to the voice of freedom in your heart –

the call to become practitioners of love.

 

You need not serve the old gods any longer.
Through the steps that you are taking, you assist the great transition

 from the old world into a world made new.

(On flight between Auckland and Los Angeles, 18th Jan)

 

This tour was a real journey – an experience, first of all, of the many obstructions to the flow of love that is constantly around us. Out of a combination of the theme we were carrying and my interest in going behind the scenes of current affairs in the spirit of Steiner’s lecturing in 1917, the poems came:

Those who know cannot sleep.
Those who sleep do not know.
Humanity stands poised at an abyss where many

 are destroyed on the rocks of fear and hate…

                                                                                                 (Ventura, 27th Jan)

 

 

Is the world softening to the touch of good?
Lovers of the earth all long for this but they have learned

that it is dangerous to hope.

 

Sorrows feasted always on their dreams, they found,

and goodness asked too much from them

and gave back nothing in return.

 

But some are sensing that it’s different now.

There is a turning in the world
and it is real and beautiful and profound.

 

I almost dance with them. My soul has aged
through all these years of waiting and these days of dark

and just one soft part of my heart is saying to me
that the Sun is absolutely certain soon to rise.

                                                                                                   (Ventura, 19th Jan)

 

The fight against evil
is not meant to be short.
You came to the earth to be part of this.
In the struggle you find your brothers and sisters.

And isn’t it glorious to fight for truth!
Keep love in your hearts that shall never tire
and in your belly, fierceness and fire…

(Ventura, 22nd Jan)

 

Hawaii opened a new door in which the experiences of the tour began to resonate with deeper meaning:

The future king within me
gives meat to the spiralling white serpent

 that lives behind his eyes.

 

He knows the axe shall fall.
He knows that he must live when all that previously gave him support

 is taken from him.

 

He feeds the serpent
and prepares himself
for when the axe shall fall.

                                                                                                  (Honolulu, 10th Feb)

 

As the old icons crumble
there’s no skiff large enough to hold all the debris;

sometimes it seems we’ll drown in our own wastes.

 

Pay heed to the fall of the spirits of darkness, but look up

towards the light. Light strikes aggressively at darkness

but, even in the midst of battle, it does more than that.

 

It needs your gentle heart, your healing hands.

It asks that you plant seeds –
seeds which the light would raise.

 

In times of destruction
plant the seeds that you’ve been given.

They are needed that the earth

become fruitful once more.

 

The renewal of the earth in the ways of God

will not be complete
until your hands and your heart
have played their part.

(Honolulu, 11th Feb)

It gets harder to meet them –
those who have not broken down their idols yet.
They live in nice houses;
they do quite nicely, thank you, from the status life bestows on them.

It gets harder to bear
the speech that is not purified by fire.
People use clichés and do not see
the ideology that they subscribe to like a drug.

It gets harder to hear
the lies, the lies, the lies.
Spewed forth in endless torrents of distraction,
don’t you long to turn them off and bathe in pure, clear truth!

It gets harder, my friend.
But it gets richer and more meaningful as well.
Each statement of truth is a deed against the powers of darkness –

each act of will, a step upon the road to victory.

(Kula, Maui, 27th Feb)

 

And then, after Hawaii, we started up the coast – Santa Cruz and the first taste of Camphill hospitality, Sacramento, where we did a nice big performance in that large auditorium and stayed with Jim Willets without whose support we would probably never have come at all, Sebastapol, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver Island and Vancouver. It was an exhausting period – there is nothing like arriving somewhere, doing a lighting rehearsal, performing, talking with folks till late, packing up and heading off again at 6am the next morning. The body can only take so much of that, even though we were loving it and starting to be able to relax into the show. In Sacramento the comment was first made that the really good relationship between Christian and I came across very clearly in performances and was perhaps the best part of the show! And in Sacramento I began to be inspired by themes connected with the 1776 American Revolution and its repetition in our time:

Stay focused, patriots,
stay focused on what’s good.
Ignore the noises coming from the swamp.

The creatures of the swamp are suffering now

the pain of light.
The white light burns them,
driving them crazy with its benediction of truth.

(Sacramento, 17th March)

 

Behind everything that happens in life – not just to us but to everyone if they are awake to notice – there are symbolic openings into the higher worlds that accompany us:

We wrestle not with flesh and blood
but with principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness,

 with spiritual wickedness in high places –
spiritual wickedness in high places.

 

Every day we wrestle with them.
They oppose us relentlessly; they never sleep.

See behind the mask of flesh
the powers at work in friend and foe.

 

Have compassion on those who tread the earth.

Blindly they wander and think they see.
Have compassion on those who tread the earth

but dare to witness to the rulers of light.

(Portland, 23rd March)

 

Easter gave us a wonderful break – time to rest and be open to an extraordinary part of the world. For three consecutive days I could be present in Vancouver Island at a study of Holy Week with a group of wonderful women. This worked a major transformation in me and took my exhaustion away. Ita Wegman is reported to have said that this part of the North West has healing powers, and there are people living there who have taken this to heart:

Against sloth,
inertia,
and despair,
awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

Fire ignites courage.
Courage fires the will.
The will moves mountains.
Awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

Fire is the doorway to creative strength.
Fire sears the darkness of the malignant swamp.
Fire moves the mountainous rubble of resisting matter.

Awaken in me, Lord, the words of fire!

When there is fire in patriots’ hearts,
their voices become
the vehicle by which
new streams of righteousness are spread across the world.

Awaken in us, Lord, creative fire!

Awaken in us, Lord, creative fire!

(Vancouver, 26th March)

 

Because of the reality of the times it is necessary to fight inner battles, and in the North West it was as if I was assisted by what was living in this land:

I will splinter you into a thousand pieces,

entity of evil,
who has bequeathed your darkness,
as a plague of locusts,

on the earth.

 

And I will scatter all those pieces to the winds.

They’ll find themselves adrift, and, face to face

with Death,
they shall experience for the first time then

Death unredeemed by Love.

 

What made them think that they could bear
the face of Death?
Cast from the world that lovingly has held them,

even them,

they see, too late, the nature of the Beast they served.

 

Splintered from each other
and condemned to swarm like locusts,
they endure the torment of existence without God.

The majesty of the Love that they reject
torments them. Darkness takes them for its own.

(Vancouver, 1st April, Easter Sunday)

In Vancouver we had our biggest audience. It happened the day after Easter and was certainly due to the way organizers had prepared talks before we got there. I was myself given the opportunity to speak on Good Friday at the Christian Community about the play we were performing and its connection to the new mystery drama, written in the five years between 2012 and 2017. I had always felt the Threefold play was actually a prelude to this. We got to Vancouver and, the night we arrived, Marie Reine Adams’ group was actually performing scenes from the second of Steiner’s Mystery Dramas – what amazing synchronicity! This freed me to talk about the themes of the new Mystery Drama in a way I had never been able to before. The themes are so very related to our times and there is information here that was inspired and I think can’t be found anywhere else:

  • The strengthening of Ahriman in our time, the attack of the Asuras, and the response to these of the etheric Christ,
  • The help of the Nathan Child in a new incarnation,
  • The redemption of thinking that can arise in us if we trace thinking’s

origin back to Ancient Greece,

  • The effects on a community of the breakthrough of a single

individual,

  • The awakening of the will in connection with the Threefold Social

Organism,

  • The path taken by different individuals towards fraternity in the

economic realm,

  • The way the new spirit of fraternity can overcome demonic

destruction such as that which has lamed the Anthroposophical Society since the exclusion of Ita Wegman in 1935.

 

The story of how the Threefold play arose out of this Mystery Drama is a very amazing one and, inspired by what happened in Vancouver, I am offering to speak more on this subject wherever possible during our second tour.

What had flowered in our North West experiences went on bearing fruit through the wintry, snow-filled days in Toronto:

Easter should unfold within you
slowly.
It doesn’t happen all at once.
It works deep magic in the cells
until you realize one day that from you something has been freed.

 

Then you must follow what is coming into being

independently of you.
Observe it as it grows and strengthens through your life.

It is the Christ. …

(Kimberton, 15th April)

In Toronto we did something we hadn’t done before – we performed at a retirement home, Hesperus, and did for the first time a shortened version of the play, taking out some of Steiner’s longer speeches and bringing it all back to 65 minutes.

Hawthorn Valley was Christian’s home town and the performances there in his old school and at Copake were very joyful occasions. We hit a crisis point there and immediately afterwards, financial and spiritual – things can’t go on being only good – but we got through and finished strongly at Camphill Kimberton.

… Your own will gradually grows less important.
All you care about is that the will of Him who dwells within you

 reign supreme.
You reach out more and more towards those in whom
a similar event has come to pass. …

(Continuation of poem from Kimberton, 15th April)

There is so much that could have been said, but I’ve chosen this approach through poetry because a poem can be a gateway to what is really happening. Yes, this tour was a wonderful MYSTERY DRAMA for us. It was more than just two guys travelling around doing a play.

Because there is demand for it, I am already planning the next tour. We did not break even on this tour – I ended up about $1,500 short of this, but next tour we won’t need extra time for rehearsals and we have also learned much better to state our needs to the places where we go. I think Christian and I both continue to feel a great faith that we are in the right place at the right time.

On the plane home I read a wonderful book about social threefolding by a non- Anthroposophist, given to me by a woman in Toronto. The writer, Henry Mitzberg, is a professor of economics at a Canadian university. The clarity and commonsense of it comes across so clearly as he describes the TSO in terms of what is happening in the world today. Society forms naturally into three parts – business is private, politics is public, but the realm where people work out of interests in common (what Steiner called the spiritual-cultural sphere and much more difficult than the other two to see working in its full significance) is as important as these; it is the place where the new and creative must come from. Exactly what we are saying in the play but reworked into a new form for our time.

In our thinking we have to work continually into an area of finding the new that is not created directly from polarity. In group dynamics one way, when faced with a clash, is that one party exercises domination and control. Another way is to make a compromise between them. But the really new way comes when one of the parties exercises their creativity and something quite new arises. This is threefolding in action – resisting the immediate dynamic of either/or and seeking together the way of creativity. I was asked once in a discussion after the play where I see the TSO happening and gave an answer that involved Sekem and the Philippines. Although these are good examples of big things happening, we have to remember how big things today are soul-sized. If I were asked the same question today I would reply differently – it is everywhere; we simply have to learn to think differently and we are creating it.

If only we had the budget to go out into regular theatres and meet with non- Steiner people! So many lectures are given, but the arts transcend the experiences that can come to people on this route. Sometimes I feel like the person a friend from England, Sarah Kane, called me in an email the other day – “… a solitary knight fighting for what is right amidst many who no longer recognise what that is.” In some ways, yes, but everywhere we went we also met people who are taking up the challenge to think differently and are forming partnerships that are transforming society.

Our work is not yet over and we hope to see some of you again in North America between September and November.

 

All good wishes

from Michael

 

Let the news travel from house to house!
Let the lanterns swing that fill your hearts with courage!

Rally around the one who leads an army to uphold the right!

Awaken as you did two centuries ago on that midnight ride!

(Sacramento, 17th March)

 

And some final words, written on my first day back in New Zealand:

 

The power of three

First there is power and control.
Then there is compromise.
Neither works completely. Try the
way of creativity.

and strike a dynamic balance between polarities.

Invent something that has never existed before

out of the synthesis of yin and yang.

Every moment is an opportunity
to exercise creative artistry,
freed from the chains of
what has been.

(Flight between Auckland and Blenheim, 19th April)

 

From Christian. Written on 20th April,. Catskill, NY:


A Brief Review of the This War Is Not Inevitable Tour 2018

Three whole months have come and gone! I find myself in the same spot as I did before it all happened: Catskill, NY. Coming back here from the whirlwind of a different city each night feels a bit like stepping back into some other dimension. Some things, like small towns, never change, somehow, and yet people continuously do. I’m left here with a feeling of gratitude, and a mixture of excitement and exhaustion.

It’s hard for me to imagine that just a few months ago I was leaving for LA to meet Michael, the journey still ahead and the adventure awaiting. So, first thing I should do, I thought, is contract the flu! So I did. And what a first impression it was at LAX. Me, walking into the airport dragging a huge suitcase full of an unnecessary amount of cologne and toiletries, to see this man sitting there at a cafe in a blue blazer, jet lagged, and different from the one I was used to seeing on the Skype icon. We were both, to say the least, in sub par shape; and yet it goes on (a theme that would prove extremely useful during the touring process).

We chatted briefly, dazedly, both of us in a stupor of our own. But, we decided to get the bus to Ventura before it was too late. Shortly over an hour later we’d arrive at the foot of a luxurious hotel near the port of Ventura. The air was already clean and brimming with the sea air. It was magnificent. “You didn’t tell me we were staying at a resort, Michael.” A prelude to all the future jokes Michael would have to deal with.

We were picked up by Christine Burke, a soon to be friend of mine, and the journey could really begin. Well, it would really have to wait five days until I could get out of bed again. At least I’m getting it out now, right.

A few weeks of rehearsing did not seem like a long enough time. We used the living room in the house I was staying in (Michael was just two doors down from me with Christine and I stayed with her friend Debbie). Costumes and props didn’t seem to be an issue, and we used the living room space adequately enough to try to simulate a minor stage and potential audience. The real jump came just before we left for Hawaii when Christine decided to hold a little showing for a handful of friends at her mother’s place up the road. After being exposed to a few strangers we were really ready to start. Just joking, we were never really ready to start until our final performance in Kimberton, PA. And yet it goes on.

There is really so much to be said about each place we stopped off in and each group of people we encountered and formed bonds with. Unique individuals, all working hard to forward their progress and make an impact here on earth. From Honolulu to Maui, LA, Ojai and Ventura, all the way through Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Hawthorne Valley, NYC and Kimberton. All I can say to reflect on this at the moment is that I am grateful to the people and these amazing places I would not have seen otherwise. There is such a special energy to each different location, even the Hawaiian Islands are vastly different from each other. And I must say if we’d stayed a little longer in Honolulu or Vancouver I may not have left again. At least now I have these places and these people there to look forward to if I can go back again, and, especially if we can bring the play back again with more fervour and gusto than before. Now that we’ve built relationships it would be the best to try to expand our audiences and venues in some of the major cities we’ve been in i.e Toronto, Vancouver, LA, NYC etc. And not only that but we’d be seeing all the lovely people again that we encountered along the way.

 

 

 

Here are some audience reactions from the eighteen performances in NZ and Australia:

THIS WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE – Comments from audience members in the first eighteen performances,

Michael Burton’s play This War is not Inevitable is a rare combination of artistic accomplishment, engaging history and relevance to the dire situation and burning issues of the present time. It was the clearest and most accessible public presentation of the three-fold nature of society I have seen. Dr. William Riggins (nutritionist, author and troubadour)

For anyone who has never read or met Rudolf Steiner – perhaps who has only heard his name – this play is the opportunity to experience Rudolf Steiner in person. Even if we have studied his work for many years, the play is a unique opportunity to travel with him on that most important and fulfilling journey from the head to the heart. The two actors touch our hearts and bring Rudolf Steiner unforgettably to life so that we come away feeling that we’ve been addressed by him in person.

It would be wonderful for parents and friends of those who have their children at a Rudolf Steiner school to see this show, at least once. Doing so would help us to answer our children’s questions regarding the founder of their school.

Having attended the first night of This War is Not Inevitable, has been a profound experience for me and I will certainly try to see it more than once.  Hartmut Borries, (priest of The Christian Community in Auckland)

 It may sound naïve, but I felt so joyful to have met Rudolf Steiner! Audience member in Christchurch

Our students don’t often hear about Rudolf Steiner. So that struck me this morning – watching the students seeing someone portraying him. You crossed quite a threshold portraying Rudolf Steiner and Emil Molt. I watched them watching you with great appreciation and a new feeling for what is behind their school. The students were full of JOY in seeing Steiner and Emil Molt portrayed. Europe ripped itself apart in the First World War, but out of this came the first Steiner School. They connected with this deeply. Every pupil at a Steiner School should see this. High School teacher, Wellington

Something that stuck with me was when you said that if you want to change things you will have to risk everything. I think that’s really true. People don’t like to take risks. As a society we have to learn to take risks and take those bold steps in order to improve the world. You got the idea of the problems in the world spot on – and what we can do about them. Class 10 student, Wellington

Although this is a historical play, it seems to me to be deeply relevant to the present situation. I loved the way Steiner was portrayed – with real passion for what he was doing; surely it is only in such a way that we can change the world! Audience member in Sydney

People in our location are doing these things. They may never have heard of Steiner or Anthroposophy, but I can see much in the Blue Mountains which is just the same as what you showed in the play. It seems to me that these ideas are trying to appear in many places in the world. Your play helps them to get stronger. Audience member in Blue Mountains, Australia

Studying a book feels so inadequate compared to what you brought to us through art. I believe that for people who find it difficult to take in Steiner’s ideas, your portrayal cuts through intellectuality and builds bridges of understanding to the spirit of Anthroposophy. Marilyn Lewis, Canberra

Before the performance I didn’t know very much about the TSO, but after I had seen this performance I came away feeling I had met with it first hand and could grasp it. It released in me a whole lot of thinking and fed me with energy for my will. Audience member in Sydney

Our High school students responded to the 50 minute version with some very insightful questions. They were drawn in by the character of the modern young Otto who is struggling with his own demons and those of the zeitgeist. Even though some of the younger students only had a vague understanding of the machinations behind World War One, they followed with close attention the endeavours of Rudolf Steiner and his friends to bring about real social change. There were many positive comments from them after the show. Sophia Montefiore, HSC coordinator at the Newcastle Waldorf School

In the evening performance of the full version, out teachers, parents and friends were able to experience Steiner’s ideas on threefolding in a lot more detail. And the thoughtful discussions and sharing of ideas at the end of the show sowed a lot of seeds for future will activities. Sophia Montefiore, Newcastle

Watching the actors come in and out of their various characters was refreshing and organic and the historical interpretation was fascinating. I am especially inspired to revisit the Threefold Social Order in response to the deep and serious problems in the world today and feel very moved, at a will level, to help bring this impulse into the world. Lisa Corser, Melbourne

 

 

This is the kickstarter video from our very earliest days; it was put together very hurriedly to raise funds to begin. Although it is very primitive it still has is a good description of what we are trying to do. On the kickstarter website I post regular updates.

 

For further information and bookings contact me at michaelburton999@yahoo.com.au or use this contact link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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