This summer marked our third-year collaboration with the students of Leiden’s University of Applied Sciences’ Minor in Anthroposophy. We flew to the Netherlands to spend two and a half days at the beautifully curated Elisabeth Vreede Huis, where singing children greeted us in the morning before we began our work (a small kindergarten runs at the anthroposophical home next to a lush, green park in The Hague).
Twelve students will embark on the study of Anthroposophy for half a year, in parallel to their majors. Most of the students have chosen careers related to the well-being and development of the human being, such as Pedagogy, Psychology, Nursing, Social Work and Therapy. It is not surprising that their interest in human nature led them to connect to this minor which aims to bring together the spiritual striving of youth with their chosen career path and the needs of contemporary life.
Rik ten Cate and Saar Frieling are responsible for the course and curate the year-long program, which offers — in addition to the study of Anthroposophy — eurythmy, singing, stone carving, research opportunities and, this year, the monumental task of painting frescoes all over a newly restored church with an artist inspired by Anthroposophy. It was a genuine joy to experience how Anthroposophy integrates itself into the life of a mainstream institution like Leiden University of Applied Sciences without any watering down. The students, which began studying karma and reincarnation this week, are all ears and eager to learn about Rudolf Steiner’s impulse, the School of Spiritual Science and its sections and the work that Anthroposophy has achieved in the world.
The Youth Section was asked to participate in the course’s opening week to support the students to begin building their social fabric, getting to know each other through those questions that can act as guiding stars during the year. Inspired by our (Re)Search methodology, we went through a process of dialogue, imagination and questioning. Through this, we identified questions and gifts we would like to give to the world for the future. Questions about how to help others, bring love to encounters, heal, take initiative or find the balance between work and the social made themselves visible. The gifts that the young students wanted to give to the world materialized as if they were tools to help them sustain themselves in living with those same questions: trust, compassion, understanding, companionship, creativity, letting go.
The group will visit the Goetheanum at the end of October. It will be their first visit to Dornach and we look forward to welcoming them. You can also get to meet them by visiting them at the Youth Section House (Dorneckstrasse 1), where they will surely be enjoying each others company, good conversations and a warm cup of tea.