July 28, 2019

“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

― Albert Einstein


During a conversation this week, I mentioned the phrase community schooling instead of homeschooling. I first learned of this type of education when I studied the original Trailside School at the National Audobon Society led by Dr. Michael Cohen. This expeditionary learning group took part in a year-long journey across the United States by bus. In each community, the students would learn from local craftspeople, participate in national park interpretive activities, and complete each week with a paper researched in the local library. The students were responsible for budgeting, scouting locations, and learning from their experiences. They would learn from experts along the way.

It was the lack of constraint that the school building provides that led to an education that showed these students small corners of the US by becoming part of the local culture. As we began to homeschool and wanted to incorporate as many of the Waldorf practices as possible, we looked to our community. In every community, you will find a senior center with people willing to share their craft, art leagues willing to encourage young artists in the art of seeing, farmers who need help and can provide mentoring, state and national parks where educational opportunities abound. You teach your children and students to look for resources right in your own backyard. We are classified as homeschoolers, but really we are part of a community of learners. 

Perhaps, we all need to get on the bus to rediscover learning. A learning driven by the needs of human development, love of community, and mutual respect for the earth. 

Until next time,

Kathy Donchak


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What are Dreams? Every age, every culture, perhaps every person, have different answers. We can at least agree on one thing, however: dreams are other. Their presence in our lives demonstrates that we are not limited to a single mode of consciousness. The world of sleep is largely a blank for us, an abyss of non-consciousness, yawning between one day and the next, but the very fact that we can dream announces our potential for awareness within that abyss.

We spend a third of our life asleep—a fact that dream theorists rarely consider. This startling collection of lectures by Rudolf Steiner, selected and introduced by the psychologist Michael Lipson, provides a truly unique way of approaching dreams, based on an understanding of the spiritual nature of human beings. A radically new view of dreams “as the threshold to spiritual reality” arises, once we acknowledge that physical existence is only the tip of an iceberg hidden largely in the spiritual world.

Sleep, death, and meditation are the three realms in which consciousness has the opportunity to deepen its immersion in the divine flow of existence. In principle, we can become infinitely more self-aware in each of them, since human consciousness is not fixed—neither in contents nor in terms of alertness. All day long, the contents of our consciousness change, and during the night, the level changes. Learn more



In 1904, in the magazine Lucifer-Gnosis, Rudolf Steiner published some of his earliest articles on self-development, which became his classic How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation. Steiner continued his articles as “The Stages of Higher Development.” He wrote of his intention in 1914: “A second part [of How to Know Higher Worlds] is to be added to this first part, bringing further explanations of the frame of mind that can lead to the experience of higher worlds.” Though Steiner never found time to publish those articles as a book, they are collected in this volume.

The Stages of Higher Knowledge records some of Steiner’s early esoteric instructions, revealing how he became a pioneer of modern inner development and spiritual activity. He carefully guides the reader from an ordinary, sensory-based “material mode of cognition” through the higher levels of knowing he calls Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition.

This small handbook will help anyone who wishes to take a serious approach to Anthroposophy as a path of knowledge, especially those who have already studied and worked with How to Know Higher Worlds.

Read Chapter 1



9 lectures, Oxford, England, August 16–29, 1922 (CW 305)

These lectures follow from those presented in Soul Economy. Given during a conference on spiritual values in education and life and attended by many prominent people of the time, Steiner’s Oxford lectures present the principles of Waldorf education at the highest cultural level. The Manchester Guardian reported:

“Dr. Steiner’s lectures...brought to us in a very vivid way an ideal of humanity in education. He spoke to us about teachers who, freely and unitedly, unrestricted by external prescription, develop their educational methods exclusively out of a thorough knowledge of human nature. He spoke to us about a kind of knowledge needed by the teacher, a knowledge of the being of man and the world, which is at the same time scientific and also penetrates into the most intimate inner life, which is intuitive and artistic.”

These lectures form one of the best introductions to Waldorf education. Learn more



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