A Dramatic Journey through the Evolution of Human Consciousness
‘A Dramatic Journey through the Evolution of Human Consciousness’
Human Being! Know Thyself: The birth of Greek drama out of the Mysteries of Eleusis.
Some key moments from Homer’s Iliadand Odyssey and from one of Plato’s dialogues reveal the transition taking place in Greek consciousness at the time when the drama was born. In scenes and moments from the tragedies Prometheus Bound, the Oedipus trilogy, the Orestesstory, The Trojan Women andThe Bacchaeand Aristophanes’ comedy The Frogswe shall explore aspects of initiation in the age of the intellectual soul.
The Place of the Skull: The journey to Self Knowledge from Shakespeare to Modern Times.
Beginning with a chorus from Euripides Trojan Womenwe trace the trajectory of the gradual replacement of the old clairvoyant consciousness by the human intellect throughout the age of Kali Yuga. We will experience what happens as humanity enters the age of the consciousness soul when the intellect and heart are separated, as explored by Shakespeare in moments from his Midsummer Night’s Dream andHamlet. We shall follow the fate of the rational intellect further through Goethe’s Faust,and into the nihilism of the twentieth century through scenes from Waiting for Godotand Peter Shaffer’s Equus which explore what happens when humanity faces the threshold with an intellect that on its own, cannot solve life’s questions. A scene from Jarry’s Ubu Roicontrasts the spiritual emptiness of many human beings at the end of the nineteenth century with the potential for our spiritual evolution revealed in Shakespeare’s characters. Moments from his final play:Henry VIII will give us a glimpse of Shakespeare’s prophetic vision of the spiritual journey that moves beyond the nadir of materialism.
‘The Fabulous wings unused’: humanity at the threshold.
‘Thank God our time is now when wrong comes up to face us everywhere’ – recognising what it means for the modern human being to face the journey to self-knowledge. We shall begin our journey with key moments from the great dramas written by Ibsen and Chekhov just around the year 1899, the date Steiner indicated as marking the end of Kali Yuga. We shall explore what happens when human beings continue to confront the threshold to the spiritual world unconsciously through dramas including Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,Beckett’s Waiting for Godotand Edward Albee’s Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf. Moments from Thornton Wilder’s Our Townand Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, point to the possibility of moving beyond the view of the human being implicit in the answer given by Oedipus to the riddle of the sphynx. In a ground breaking scene from Steiner’s 2ndMystery Drama, we witness the journey of a human being who evolves to cross the threshold consciously.
In 2018, the author developed three live artistic presentations of key scenes and moments from the great dramas of our Western theatrical tradition. These explored how the path to self-knowledge evolved throughout what is called in the Hindu tradition, Kali Yuga or the Age of Darkness, and since it ended in 1899. They are framed by the author’s commentary and music created and performed by Katrina Stowe. They demonstrate the author’s application to a large range of characters and styles, the integrated Steiner/ Chekhov methodology that she has helped to pioneer. They also complement the content of the present volume, demonstrating in a living way, many of the themes and moments it explores. These performances were filmed and edited and are available to anyone wishing to access this material. Provided it is understood that the etheric nature of the speech technique and Chekhov methodology cannot be recorded by a physical machine.
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