Welcome to another Summer issue (Northern Hemisphere season) of New View. This is the 60th edition (not sure if that warrants a cake and candles just yet…) of this magazine; and my 51st, the first nine being produced by the previous editor, John Dalton. Somehow we manage to keep going, issue-to-issue, despite very hard times. My own impression is that New View’s voice becomes quietly more relevant as time goes on; but that alone will not vouchsafe its existence.
It all began some fifteen years ago, when the first New View magazine saw the light of day at Michaelmas 1996. The internet was not yet a household item and mobile phones were not in everyone’s hands, as they seem to be today. All this changed rapidly, so fast in fact that today it might be difficult for many to recall what it was like to manage without these mass communication devices. And yet this begs some questions: How are we managing our lives today? How do we manage our time? How do we adapt to rapidly changing circumstances? Inwardly, are we more calm as time goes by, or not? Each, rightly, would fashion a personal response to these questions but there would surely be a general consensus. I could imagine that might turn out to be a sense that time flows rather quickly now; that information is more difficult to sort through, there being so much of it; and perhaps, if you go a little deeper, that truth and freedom are even more elusive than in times gone by. Perhaps.
I remember at school, in the late 1960’s, a teacher telling us that we needed to prepare, seriously, to handle more leisure time – we may only have 3-4 day working weeks in the future – as, with the advent of computer technology, many tasks we needed to do would become redundant leaving us with time on our hands. I do not experience it turned out like that at all for most people, rather the opposite. Most experience less time available to do/complete the things they wish or need to. When the magazine deadline comes around, four times a year, I receive a ‘timely’ reminder of this! There is certainly a strong expectation for quicker responses and results, in all walks of life which mitigates against calmness at times. It is fine to be able to move quickly, leap like a salmon even, when you have to; but… some might know the lines from the poem by William Henry Davies:
What is this life if, full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
The challenge is to find a balance in life, as new discoveries are made and new social forms arise.
As well as to inform and stimulate, even inspire on occasion, New View has three areas it particularly attends to and publishes article about: the experiences and insights of those working in initiatives out of a background of Rudolf Steiner’s work; deeper questioning and research about the spiritual life grounded in Christian esotericism and becoming aware of events in the world that are not properly communicated or explored in the normal mainstream media.
This issue has tried to balance these intentions and I hope you find it a rewarding read. It begins with a poem by Paul Matthews that helps to set the tone for much of what is found in this issue, as well as a resonance with the cover picture by David Newbatt. These connections are not planned as such, but they do arise in doing this work. Osama and Obama by Matthew Barton and The Osama bin Laden story and the search for Truth by Richard Ramsbotham remind us that we can show our real humanity and come to understand truth and freedom, if we have a will for it. Pain Management at Blackthorn follows, where a team of doctors and therapists relate their methods of countering chronic pain using many approaches with a common spiritual understanding.
Hannah Townsend made a visit to the Weleda UK premises in Derbyshire and shares the care and ethos of this company founded on the inspirational work of Steiner in A Birthday Presence: Weleda at Ninety. Gerard van Dyck then brings an understanding of Lazure painting and its benefits for home and workplace alike in Living in the Glow of Lazure.
A eurythmist from the USA, Jason Yates, shares in an interview his experiences with computers and virtual reality. This links on to The Unquenchable Thirst to Live in Gratitude: Digital Technology and the Afflicted Soul of the Earth by Jeremy Naydler who looks at the real cost to us and the Earth incurred in the production of modern technology.
And hence to Burning Ground: Mining, Displacement and Resistance in India’s Tribal Lands by Jennifer Wallace with photographs by Robert Wallis. This is an under-reported tragedy.
NNA news for New View by Christian von Arnim leads to Paul Carline’s article, raising questions about the background to the E.coli outbreak in EHEC – what’s in a name?
Desert Islands – The Three Historical Temptations of England and Japan by Terry Boardman looks at Japan and England in the context of Christ’s temptations.
In an attempt to offer something for our stressful lives, New View publishes its first ever ‘article’ by Rudolf Steiner. I would welcome readers’ feedback if they work with any of the suggestions that Steiner outlines in Overcoming Nervousness. A ‘project’ for New View and its readers perhaps?
Finally, Terence Davies replies to Roger Smook’s article in the last issue of New View (‘What does Rudolf Steiner mean by Freedom?’) with A Question of Terminology: A Response to Roger Smook.
Separate contributions in this issue, as ever, but if you begin to find connections between them, much more becomes available. Which brings me back to the poem on the next page as a place to begin!
Wishing you well, wherever you are,
Tom Raines (Editor)