Dear Friends of ELIANT,
We have been hearing the Christmas message: "Tidings from on high and peace on earth to men of good will" in churches, in art and in culture for more than 2000 years. And yet there are ever more wars and conflict situations.
The longing to take this message seriously and work on its realization despite all the resistance, is the reason why so many creative non-governmental organisations have sprung up, including ELIANT. What connects us is the determination, unfazed by painfully polarised attitudes that are being amplified by the media and political-economic interests, to work positively for peace and a civilised culture. We want to understand the causes of such man-made disasters and learn how to mitigate and prevent them. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) the founder of the anthroposophic impulse, was convinced that 'where there is war and conflict there is a lack of good ideas!' This is in effect the quintessence of the Christmas message.
What then are these tidings from on high? They are the ideals behind human evolution that point the way towards humanising and developing the capacities for freedom and peace. This 'on high' is found within – where the voice of conscience speaks and hopes for the future reside.
The aggressive polarising rhetoric based on a dualistic mentality of 'us against them' and the "concept of friend-enemy", has come to dominate social and political discourse to such an extent that there is hardly room for example to have a fair debate about the legitimacy of free decision making when important health issues arise or regarding peace and diplomacy in the current war situation.
It would seem in times such as these when the future appears uncertain and rather gloomy, to be a golden opportunity to ask ourselves afresh what really counts in life and what will remain with us after death. Rudolf Steiner published a book that is well worth reading entitled: Knowledge of the Higher Worlds – How is it Achieved? It has in the mean time been translated in to all the world's main languages and describes exercises to help us develop our humanity and work on our own development. Above all the text makes the reader aware of where inhuman tendencies originate and shows how they can be overcome.
"Where danger is, there rescue also grows!" With these words of Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) in mind we trust that more and more people – each in their own way – will yearn for the good tidings from on high and seek ways to hear and put them into practice.
The ELIANT team sends warm greetings and best wishes for the New Year
And heartfelt thanks for all your donations!