One day a friend of mine took me to see a bio-dynamic farm in Forest Row. It was the year 2000 and foot and mouth disease was rampant across England so unfortunately the farm was closed to visitors and we had to settle with going to the shop in the village that sells their produce. The shop, as well as selling fruit and veg, sells books, half of which seemed to be about the work of Rudolf Steiner. In my ignorance, I’d never heard of the man but he was obviously all the rage (Forest Row is where the ley lines meet and attracts all sorts of occult following, some good some not so good) and so I couldn’t leave without buying a book.
The book I bought was a compilation of his lectures put together to mark the millennium. Each lecture was on a different subject and so a good introduction to his work. I was fascinated by all that he spoke of and was immediately hooked, in particular by a lecture on the ‘Evolution of Consciousness’, so much so that I went out and bought his book solely devoted to that topic.
Rudolf Steiner lived in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and the beginning of the twentieth, and pursued a lifetime’s work into spiritual science, or as he coined it, ‘Anthroposophy’. He realised that answers to the big questions in life could neither be found by following the churches teachings nor through the path of modern science. We live in a time that seems devoid of spiritual understanding and I too had long sought a higher understanding of life. My father believes we are like computers, in that when they are old and knackered, you throw them in the skip and they cease to exist. This is the same attitude that leads people to think that all life on earth exists as some freak accident that began in a big bang. I’d always been inclined to think that there was more to it, but it was Rudolf Steiner that taught me that we are eternal spiritual beings that evolve in our consciousness through the ages. Rudolf Steiner is my first great teacher.
My second great teacher is Victor Schauberger. He was an Austrian forester who lived in the first half of the twentieth century. He spent his formative years watching the trout in the mountain streams and was spellbound by the way in which they held their position in fast flowing water, remaining almost motionless, and effortlessly climbed up waterfalls in a manner that no amount of physical thrust could explain. He developed an incredibly deep understanding of the workings of nature and spent much of his life trying to convince the scientific community of the error of their ways, and to the terrible damage they were causing to the forests and rivers of Europe, with little success. He sadly died a disillusioned man and took much of his knowledge with him to his grave, but the letters and articles he wrote give us an insight into how man must learn to work with nature in all fields of activity; water, forestry, agriculture, energy and transport.
I have a passion for living closely in touch with nature. I have a garden and a field, keep sheep and geese and do my best to manage all this in nature’s ways. Victor Schauberger spoke of the ‘senseless toil’ of man in the way we go about our work and I have always borne this in mind when managing the land. He realised that much of man’s techniques were so contrary to nature that they were counter productive, something that I cannot afford to be when working the land from a life of wheelchair use.
Most importantly, Victor Schauberger enabled me to understand the manner in which science is leading us down a blind alley. We all know that the technological way of our civilization is threatening the very fabric of life and yet people put their hope in science, when it is the scientific thinking, of the intellect, that is leading us to destruction. Only by building upon the work of Victor Schauberger can we turn a corner, so we must strive to gain that intuitive awareness of nature’s formative processes and build life anew.
Last, but not least, we come to my only living teacher, Leonid Blyum. Just as Victor Schauberger taught me to understand nature in a way that scientists cannot, so has Leonid Blyum taught me to understand the body I live in, in a way that the health profession fails to envisage. It is that same scientific thinking that blinds them to the reality of a living structure. Their entire knowledge of the structure of the body is based upon the dissection of corpses, but it is impossible to understand a living structure by examining a dead one. This has led to the view of the body as an inert structure, miraculously formed by the notion of genetics, rather than a living structure shaped by the bio-mechanical forces within it.
Our doctors use surgery to attempt to re-form distorted bodies rather than address the poor bio-mechanics that have resulted in the deformation. They address the bio-chemical level of the body through the use of drugs, but fail to see that the bio-chemical level is hierarchically dependent upon the bio-mechanical level and that problems are always rooted in higher, bio-mechanical weaknesses. Our doctors answers to all our ills are to ‘cut it’ or ‘drug it’ and yet both these approaches are often misguided. Only through gaining a conceptual understanding of the body and its hierarchical structural levels can we find a better way and that is what I am doing, working to heal my body from paraplegia, under the guidance of Leonid Blyum.