Studying Goetheanism at Emerson College
Goethanism student Geert Simoens discusses his experience studying at Emerson
Interrupting your job during three months and moving abroad to England, its not an easy decision. There are financial consequences to consider, you must prepare it and organise it quite well and therefore you must deeply feel the need. In fact, you ought to have a biographical question : something that you want to realise or to overcome in your life.
At least this was my situation. I worked for more than 25 years as a Waldorf teacher in the upper school of Lier, Belgium. My question lived already for a long time : the need to strenghten my foundation in the special way I was used to teach science, particurlarly chemistry and geometry, in the Waldorf school. Since I started my career, I was convinced phenomenology, in a broader sense goetheanism, is the key to bring science nearer to life and to cure the destructive effects it has on nature nowadays. But I kept my conviction deep in me, practised it in my lessons, but I couldn’t withstand the outer attack of critics. I felt myself like a skittle in a bowling game. My conviction and my theme of life, asked me to stop the time and to nourish them, so they could grow their roots, form new leaves and maybe prepare the button of a flower.
That question grew stronger and stronger.
Of course you take risks. You’re never sure the course is the answer for your question. With this doubt you arrive at Emerson. But your decision doesn’t give you any other choice : you have to take this opportunity you allowed yourself, with both hands. Even when you can formulate your question, your real question is only a kind of vague feeling that directs you to this place at this moment.
After ten weeks, the end of the course, you’re able to consider your initial question more clear. The concept of the course is obviously to nourish the student on any level and with all possible means : with rythm, with repetition, a balance between art and science, between information and practise,
Almost every theory led to experience, or every experience was opened to broad views on life and humanity. So the course is focused on the soul of the participant and it takes his will. It even cures hi m and increases his health. Now, I can only admit that my inner life is really moved and touched. Something could come in that is an experience for ever : the wisdom of colours, the deep effect of painting the etheric with the suggestions of dr. Steiner, the opening of the soul by conversation, the community building, the experience that in anthroposophy there is only love for the world and for the thruth. It makes me rich.
Because we decided during the course to have an individual project, it helps you to come nearer to your own questions. There is the possibility to discuss them and to start your own way in finding answers. The whole atmosphere in the course, due to the concept, the accompaniment and the extremely high cooperation between the students, stimulates in making new steps.
There is the course an sich, but there is also Emerson, that wonderfull place up the hill, embedded in pure nature, that invites people from all over the world to come together and enrich each other with their experience, their spiritual thoughts, their concerns about life and world and to find answers in turning anthroposophy to reality.
At the moment I left Emerson, I could take of course all my experience with me, but I left behind my daily life that was filled with warm encounters and real connection. Even the community at Emerson gave me a lot and is a part of my inner change.
In fact, the course gave me more than I ever could expect. I’m gratefull to my wonderful teachers, my co-students, and the impressive location, called Emerson. I could find here new foundations in my life and a clearer direction. But also the responsability to get things realised.