Wolframs Willehalm Fifteen Essays On Leadership
Essays on Leadership
Bauer College Students, Faculty, Staff & Alumni Reflect
Intro By Jessica Navarro
Photography by Nicki Evans
It’s right there in the Bauer College mission statement — capitalizing on the business and professional strengths of the Houston community, the mission of the C. T. Bauer College of Business is to conduct research that will shape and address new business realities and to prepare our students for responsible leadership worldwide.
These days, the notion of what makes a good leader is up for debate. Should leaders take action now and ask questions later? Should leaders fade into the background in favor of building their team? How do leaders become leaders? Are certain people born with the attributes for leadership, or can those skills be taught and cultivated?
We enlisted the help of several Bauer students, faculty, staff and alumni to share their perspectives on leadership in the following series of essays, answering the question, “What does leadership mean to you?”
ROCKWELL CAREER CENTER ASSISTANT DEAN FOR CAREER SERVICES
BIO: AS ASSISTANT DEAN FOR CAREER SERVICES, BELINNE LEADS BAUER COLLEGE’S ROCKWELL CAREER CENTER. SHE IS ALSO PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF THE MBA CAREER SERVICES & EMPLOYER ALLIANCE (MBA CSEA) AND IS A FREQUENT SPEAKER AND TRAINER FOR LOCAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL COMPANIES ON TOPICS RELATED TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION, NEGOTIATIONS, INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT.
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Leadership has little to do with title and authority, and much to do with influence and inclusiveness. Over the years, I have been fortunate to meet many leaders I admire whose work and style have inspired me to be a better person and a better leader. They all have the same basic characteristics in common.
THE BEST LEADERS ARE THE BEST LISTENERS.”
Listening: First and foremost, the best leaders are the best listeners. (This is supported by much research.) I don’t just mean sitting quietly. I mean truly trying to understand the ideas and perspectives of others, which is harder than it sounds! Seek out feedback and opinions different from your own. The better you understand the thoughts and ideas of another, the easier it is to find both innovation and common ground to move forward. People can’t truly listen to your ideas until they believe you have heard and understood theirs, anyway.
Including: Embrace different styles and perspectives to find the best in each individual around you, rather than surrounding yourself with people just like you. If you value each person as a unique individual, they are more likely to share their best gifts and efforts when working for you. Also, create a safe space where people feel supported, even when they disagree.
Appreciating: Make time to thank everyone who has helped you along the way. It’s amazing how much more people are willing to do when they know their hard work is being noticed and appreciated. When you are willing to show gratitude and share success celebrations, it becomes easier to request and receive help from others, which is critical to anyone’s success. Nobody makes it to the top alone!
NOHA SAHNOUNE (BBA ’15, MSACCY ’16)
CORPORATE FINANCIAL ANALYST AT EXXONMOBIL
BIO: SAHNOUNE IS A FINANCIAL ANALYST AT THE EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION. SHE IS A TWO-TIME BAUER COLLEGE ALUMNA, AND THROUGHOUT HER UNIVERSITY CAREER, SAHNOUNE SERVED AS A STUDENT AMBASSADOR AND A MEMBER OF THE UH HONORS COLLEGE AND COMPLETED THE TED BAUER LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATE PROGRAM. SHE INTERNED AT EXXONMOBIL, DELOITTE AND NASA, AND ON CAMPUS, SHE LED AN ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN IN THE CORPORATE WORLD AND CONDUCTED RESEARCH IN BAUER’S DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT.
To be a leader is to do what is uncomfortable for the benefit of the people, places and things around you — and in my time at Bauer College, that involved constantly weighing the risks of putting myself out there and failing miserably, looking like a complete fool – versus speaking my mind and heart to add value to something greater than myself (while remaining to appear a complete fool, I’m certain).
Needless to say, the latter always won out.
LEADERSHIP IS TAKING EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO ONE STEP FURTHER, TO SEE HOW FAR YOU CAN GO AND HOW FAR YOU CAN TAKE OTHERS ALONG WITH YOU.”
For me, five years at Bauer College had the potential to be five years of classes, of immense fear of rejection, of swallowing hard before I spoke, of choking on my own words, and of doubting everything I knew because I didn’t think I was strong in my own skin. And that is exactly how my journey began.
But five years at Bauer College quickly became about throwing myself into any opportunity to grow where I felt weak. I constantly sought support and advice from my professors and peers, and I embraced the discomfort of growth to prove to myself that I was capable — and that on any standing in any arena, I would be good enough to compete.
And the way that it turned out, is that five years at Bauer College became five years of remarkable classes, of one presidency of the Bauer Women Society, one year in the Ted Bauer Leadership Certificate Program, one year at NASA, one semester at Deloitte and ExxonMobil, one bachelor’s degree, one master’s degree, and one girl who wore the cap and walked the stage and proved to herself that she could.
There were some tough lessons learned along the way. Leadership is not about telling others what to do, and certainly not about taking it all into your own hands. It is about doing the right thing at all times, to stay true to what you believe in, to empower the people who believe and look up to you, and to remember that your life is a testament to something greater than, well, you. In the real world, and as a student, it is easy to become complacent — to work the hours, to study for an exam, to keep your head down, and do what is expected and no more. When I think back on my times at Bauer College, I often wonder what I could have done better to leave an impact. In retrospect, what I have learned is to do more. To be more. Leadership is taking everything that you do one step further, to see how far you can go, and how far you can take others along with you.
Through my experiences and observations of the world at large, my perspective on what it means to be a leader continues to evolve, but what I know to be true will always stay the same.
Do the right thing.
Do everything to the best of your ability. And do what you can to leave something better for the world behind.
HILARIO “ELI” YANEZ
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT SENIOR
BIO: YANEZ GRADUATES THIS SPRING AND WILL TAKE A FULL-TIME JOB AS A CONSULTING ANALYST WITH ACCENTURE. HE IS A FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT AND SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE BAUER COLLEGE MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS STUDENT ORGANIZATION (MISSO). IN HIS FINAL SEMESTER, YANEZ WAS AWARDED THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON’S DEAN’S AWARD ALONG WITH THE TED BAUER LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR HIS FOR COMMITMENT THROUGH SERVICE, LEADERSHIP, AND SPIRIT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON.
Many times, we stereotype what leaders are, and we often think we are not capable of being a leader ourselves. I believe that everyone in this world has the ability to lead, no matter where they come from, how they look or how old they are. You don’t have to wait to be a leader of an organization, be the smartest in your group or be the most confident to lead. You can start now! All you have to do is look around and find a way to make a difference.
EVENTUALLY, THE MORE YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE AROUND YOU, THE MORE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO FEEL THE PRESENCE OF LEADERSHIP IN YOU, WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO SPEAK A WORD.”
Every day before I leave the house, I ask myself: “How am I going to make a difference?” This question has always helped me lead with purpose, without falling into the stereotype of what people consider a leader. I have learned that every day, I find myself with opportunities to make a difference to my family, friends and colleagues. A small, yet powerful, example of this is that I look for opportunities to acknowledge people and ask how they are doing. This has opened many doors for me to get to know someone, but most importantly, I let them know that I am here to help them with any difficulties they are facing.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how small a difference it may seem to you, but to someone else, it could mean the world. Eventually, the more you make a difference around you, the more people are going to feel the presence of leadership in you, without you having to speak a word. I encourage and challenge you to start leading today by asking yourself: “How am I going to make a difference?”
SALEHA B. KHUMAWALA
PH.D., CPA, GGMA; ROBERT GRINAKER PROFESSOR OF ACCOUNTING;
FOUNDING DIRECTOR, SURE™ PROGRAM
BIO: KHUMAWALA TEACHES AND CONDUCTS RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF GOVERNMENT AND NONPROFIT ACCOUNTING, WITH A FOCUS IN MICROFINANCE. SHE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN PRESTIGIOUS JOURNALS, INCLUDING THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW, JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTING AND PUBLIC POLICY AND OTHERS. SHE LEADS THE SURE™ (STIMULATING URBAN RENEWAL THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP) PROGRAM AT BAUER COLLEGE, ENLISTING BAUER MBA STUDENTS TO SERVE AS CONSULTANTS TO ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS WHO ALSO RECEIVE TRAINING AND ACCESS TO CAPITAL.
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As a visionary and founding director of the SURE™ Program, leadership to me has always been about empowering the people I work with.
These are the Bauer students in my courses, entrepreneurs from underserved communities in Houston that are part of the SURE™ Program, and my staff and teaching assistants who work alongside me to make this program a huge success.
TO ME, LEADERS ARE ‘HOSTS,’ NOT ‘HEROES.’”
I am very passionate and enthusiastic about my work, which is the genesis of my greatest strengths. I thus feel committed and responsible and a sense of moral obligation for excelling at everything I do — dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t’ to the point of being a workaholic. In the process, I am always partnering with other thought leaders to learn, discover new approaches and consider new concepts. I solicit feedback for improvement, and implementing these changes builds greater rapport and simultaneously, their confidence and self-esteem, giving them a sense of accomplishment.
I firmly believe that recognizing the potential of every individual and offering genuine support and sincere encouragement, even at small improvements, goes a long way in their development. Their growth and success is my greatest accomplishment. To me, leaders are “hosts,” not “heroes.”
BIO: IN HER ROLE, HUDSON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROGRAM LOGISTICS FOR BAUER COLLEGE EVENTS AS WELL AS DAILY OPERATIONS FOR THE DEANS. SHE HAS WORKED AT BAUER SINCE 2010 IN DIFFERENT ROLES, INCLUDING PROGRAM MANAGER WITHIN THE COLLEGE’S OFFICE OF GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS.
Stephen Covey is famously quoted as saying, “What you do has far greater impact than what you say.” This has had more influence on my view of leadership than any list of top qualities or formulas to follow to be a successful leader.
A LEADER IS NOT BOUND TO A TITLE OR POSITION. ANY ONE PERSON CAN BE A LEADER AT A GIVEN TIME WHEN LEADERSHIP IS NEEDED.”
Experience has shown me that leadership is about integrity, being authentic in your failures and successes, being committed to a purpose greater than yourself, and being accountable for your actions.
Leadership is also about having the courage to do what is needed and understanding it focuses on the development of others. A leader is not bound to a title or position. Any one person can be a leader at a given time when leadership is needed. It’s being able to help build confidence in someone that when the going gets tough, you’ll be in the trenches with them, encourage them to take on the task at hand, and be there to help them through.
At the end of the day, leadership is more about others than it ever is about you. If someone can work with you and leave a better person, having had the opportunity to grow and learn, that to me is leadership. It's not in the accolades for a job well done—it’s the person in the background, celebrating the achievements of others and knowing that you had a part in helping them develop to reach their potential.
BIO: BORN AND RAISED IN VENEZUELA, SANOJA IS PURSUING AN MBA FROM BAUER COLLEGE, POISED TO GRADUATE THIS YEAR. HE EARNED AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN ECONOMICS FROM UNIVERSIDAD METROPOLITANA AND HAS FOCUSED HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER ON FINANCE, WITH EXPERIENCE IN FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INVESTMENT BANKING AND COMMERCIAL PLANNING. DURING HIS TIME IN THE BAUER MBA PROGRAM, SANOJA HAS SERVED AS A STOCK ANALYST FOR THE COLLEGE’S COUGAR INVESTMENT FUND.
If good artists copy and great artists steal, then good leaders take the initiative and great leaders follow.
We all have what it takes to be great leaders because we have been following the greatest leader of all for most of our lives. This leader was there with us to guide our first steps, supported us and gave us the courage to create our own path. This leader had the patience to repeat the lessons until we learned. This leader has our interest above everything else, even themselves.
THE GREATEST LEADER OF ALL … IS A MOTHER.”
That leader, the greatest leader of all, would even give their life for us. To me, that leader is a real superhero. You all know this leader very well, and you call her mother.
Those first steps of our own path of leadership have led all Bauer students to another great leader. This new leader doesn’t have a human form but has the biggest heart of all, a heart with the reddest blood you have ever seen. It is a blood that flows thanks to the efforts of every individual in its system. Staff, students and faculty play a key role in the leadership creation process.
For at least two years, we have all been infused with this reddest blood — the lifeblood of being a Bauer student. Now, it is on us to make the most of what we’ve learned by following these great examples of leaders.
I am grateful for everything my mother did for me, which led me to Bauer. I haven’t graduated yet, and I can already tell being here has changed my life. I look forward to doing whatever it takes—leading or following—to change lives as much as my mother and Bauer College have changed mine.
BIO: A NATIVE OF HOUSTON, LIN IS A GRADUATE OF THE PROGRAM FOR EXCELLENCE IN SELLING AT BAUER COLLEGE, WHERE HE EARNED A BBA IN MARKETING. HE HAS MORE THAN 12 YEARS OF SALES EXPERIENCE IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES, INCLUDING INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION AND SPORTS SPONSORSHIPS.
When you think of great leaders, whether in business, sports or politics, who comes to mind? Winston Churchill, Jack Welch, Peyton Manning? Regardless of your individual opinions on each person, we can all agree that they led their respective country, organization and teams through great adversity, coming out on top. In addition, what do all three have in common? They led by example and had the unique ability to energize others. If a leader wants their team to function at their best, they too have to be at their best.
LEADERS LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND HAVE THE UNIQUE ABILITY TO ENERGIZE OTHERS.”
Leadership to me means the ability for a leader to sympathize with their team on the difficulty of the task they are asked to do and find ways to inspire them to reach the stated goal. A great leader informs their team of what is expected and what needs to happen, then digs down in the trenches with them to help reach it. No one likes an individual that barks out orders then sits back while the rest of the team does the work before taking credit for all the accomplishments. Actions like that don’t motivate — they create discontent.
Think about the people in your lives or those you’ve studied that you want to emulate. Those are leaders. They inspire you to do more.
PH.D., MANAGEMENT PROFESSOR
BIO: ATWATER RECENTLY ENDED A SIX-YEAR TERM AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FOR THE WORLD’S LEADING ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP JOURNAL, LEADERSHIP QUARTERLY. SHE TEACHES CLASSES IN LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR AT THE UNDERGRADUATE, MBA AND EXECUTIVE MBA LEVELS AND IS ALSO IS AN ACTIVE RESEARCHER, WITH SEVERAL PUBLICATIONS ON LEADERSHIP, INCLUDING A 2015 BOOK, APPLIED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: NINE ELEMENTS OF LEADERSHIP MASTERY.
As a professor of leadership development, my role is to bring out the leader in every student. I emphasize to them that leadership is everywhere, and everyone is a leader.
LEADERSHIP IS EVERYWHERE, AND EVERYONE IS A LEADER.”
Being a leader does not require a formal title or position. We see leadership everywhere — at work, at home, in our social groups, in formal and informal settings, and even among our children. Leadership is not who you are, but what you do. It is about skills that are learned and demonstrated.
While some individuals may have a greater propensity to lead, each and every one of us can become leaders. Four essential and interrelated components of outstanding leadership are honesty, integrity, authenticity and intolerance. Honest has been found to be the cornerstone of great leadership across the globe. Integrity requires honesty, but goes beyond in that it requires consistency between values and behavior. Authenticity requires honesty and integrity but also includes self-awareness and the willingness to let others see the “real” you. A leader cannot be authentic while trying to imitate someone else.
Lastly, leadership requires intolerance, which means leaders establish boundaries and enforce them. Boundaries set limits for followers to clearly know what is right and wrong. If we fail to be honest and authentic and to behave with integrity and intolerance, we cannot be a role model for others to follow.
Willehalm: King Of The Jews?
Introduction To The Fourth, British Edition, Including
The Kardeiz Saga To Recall The Anthroposophical Society
May the help of Thy loving Kindness inspire my heart and mind aright and grant me skill enough to praise in Thy Name a knight who never forgot Thee. Even if he merited Thy displeasure by sinful action, Thy Mercy knew how to guide him to work, of such a kind that, with manly courage at his disposal and by means of Thy Grace, he was capable of making amends. Thy Help often saved him from peril. He risked a twofold death, of the soul and of the body too, and frequently suffered anguish through the love of a woman.
This may be sufficient to indicate, if not to prove that, based on the findings of this remarkable book on the personality and work of Wolfram von Eschenbach, the answer to the question that we placed at the head of this introduction must be negative: Willehalm was not a Jewish King, but a Christian Saint.
Towards A Willehalm Society
Now it is obvious that with the above remarks and passages, however, the discussion and debate about the issues at hand and indeed many others that are raised by this book has only at best been opened and needs to be continued in an appropriate form and forum. In his foreword to this present volume the former president of the General Anthroposophical Society Rudolf Grosse calls for a thorough scientific discussion on the merits of this book, and throughout it and especially in the epilogue, Werner Greub invites scholars to enter the many new avenues of research that his book opens up. None of this has to my knowledge really been taken up yet; indeed since its publication in 1974 not one word has been “wasted” on it, apart of course from the devastating review by Lindenberg and the notice of Greub’s death, in any of the official organs of the General Anthroposophical Society or in any of its branches throughout the world. This is thus one of the reasons, indeed justifications for the founding of a Willehalm Society for Grail Research, Royal Art and Social Organics, as suggested in the introduction to the first edition. Such an interested circle of supporting friends centred on a spiritually active Institute with a publication journal and regular newsletter in the form and spirit of the Anthroposophical Society with its core the School of Spiritual Science has existed in a small, but seminal form in the Netherlands since 1990. However, in order to realize any of the objectives and research projects raised by this book, much more needs to be done, hence my present plea. Accordingly, this was part of the subject and indeed motive of my talks, backed up by the various book presentations to members and friends of the Anthroposophical Society this summer at the Rudolf Steiner library Ghent NY and in Montreal, Canada; the last talk being on September 10, 2001 to a closed meeting of the English and French speaking groups of the Anthroposophical Society in Montreal.
The September 11 Disaster en de Kardeiz Saga
This brings me to the disaster of September 11, for it does not seem appropriate to end this introduction to the British edition without enlarging somewhat on the initial reaction I wrote in Montreal to this disaster in the light of this book, its background and the substance of recent talks and presentations held in North America. This initial reaction, placed in a footnote to the Postscript of the third (North American) introduction and dated September 19 went as follows:
Now the first thing that needs to be said, indeed admitted, is that the very occurrence of this man-made disaster, this horrific example of man’s inhumanity to man, is a tragic indication of the failure of politics and ultimately of the spiritual-cultural sphere of the social organism on the planet. For as Rudolf Steiner has pointed out in his essay Anthroposophy and The Social Question where he developed his fundamental social law, practical ideas are the very life-sustaining sustenance for this social organism, without them the inevitable result will be disaster, hunger, chaos and in the end war. The individual, the human body, can indeed be helped by giving him or her bread, a community, i.e. a social body, can only be aided by helping it to attain a viable worldview. Since this outbreak of war and the ensuing bloodshed and suffering of many innocent people on both sides is indicative of the moral bankruptcy and failure of the spiritual life, then this also applies to the General Anthroposophical Society and its present leadership at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, as well as to the various national Anthroposophical Societies and related groups, indeed the Willehalm Institute included, in as far as these organisations are part of the present impotent spiritual life of mankind on earth.
A corollary to the above fundamental law is that the individual human being or any number of them can be destroyed, but that the human being as such, humanity itself can only be destroyed by eradicating the true, good and beautiful image of that humanity and a human society constructed in its image. This anti-anthroposophy, this dehumanisation is indeed the “highest” form of slouching terrorism that is the least noticed for where and what it is. Now, this structural and principled destruction of humanity and a humane society in its image has been exactly what modern, materialistic science, in spite of its undeniable technical advances, has been doing; and radically complementing and revising this basically inhuman, or at least incomplete science of man and mankind is exactly what Rudolf Steiner has brought to bear with his anthroposophy or science of the Grail.
The mission of spreading and deepening this true image of man and his society he entrusted to the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded anew in 1923 and to its centre of research and development, the Goetheanum, Free University of Spiritual Science, which, as we have seen, in 1974 published, but then dropped this present volume and its sequels. Yet in spite of the individual efforts of many well-meaning and indeed brilliant anthroposophists, often working in complete isolation and abject poverty, the leadership of the newly refounded Anthroposophical Society already before the early death of Rudolf Steiner in 1925 has in general failed to observe and fulfil its one and only task: to realise the original statutes of this Society statutes (later called principles) as an all-embracing new principle of civilisation called social organics that is destined to supersede the more than 2000 year old democratic principle. Not only has it failed to do this, but it has for the last twenty odd years resisted and suppressed all attempts by individuals, including the author, and small groups to uncover and correct this. Only recently, in the face of increasing pressure and dissent, has the leadership begun to face this constitutional dead-lock, although it is far from acknowledging that this is the main structural cause for the state of world-wide paralysis, analogous to the sick Fischer king Anfortas, in which the Anthroposophical Society finds itself. What we have here is thus a general human society which has been entrusted with the true image of man and mankind on earth, but which has not managed to remain true to itself and therefore cannot attain its mission to become a vanguard of the new principle of civilization! Before anything else can be put in order and healed in this world, it must be the Anthroposophical Society.
In effect, what we have been doing here is nothing else than asking the Parzival question: “Uncle”, – in this case the Anthroposophical Society and its leadership, and in a general sense the spiritual life of humanity – “What ails you?” Yet, since this is not an individual matter, but an issue facing a community at large, this Parzival-question needs to be asked by at least one fifth of its members, i.e. some 10.000 anthroposophists all over the world, for this is the quorum according to Swiss Civil law (on associations) needed to support the idea of holding an extra-ordinary General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society – the first such meeting since 1923, when the Anthroposophical Society was refounded in Dornach, Switzerland. For since 1925 annual meetings have been held of the administrative and economic pendant of the Anthroposophical Society, namely the General Anthroposophical Society, Inc. These two similar sounding social bodies were long considered to be one and the same. In reality they were conceived as different in quality from each other, albeit related, as for example Grail knights-of-the word such as Parzival on the one hand and Arthurian knights-of-the sword such as Gawain on the other, the former more heavenly, the latter more earthly orientated. Epistemologically speaking they are as different from each other as mental pictures are from pure concepts. The former being individualised concepts applied to a percept in an act of knowledge and forming the basis of administration; the latter being universal ideas that have not been applied to percepts and constituting the realm in which social design, royal art can be practiced..
Now, as Part II entitled Parzival of this book demonstrates, Parzifal asked his question with which he redeemed Anfortas and became Grail King on Whitsuntide, May 12, 848 in the Grail castle Munsalvaesche in the Arlesheim Hermitage. On April 8, 2001 a Parzifal question in the above communal sense was put by the author in the form of a motion to the General Assembly of the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in nearby Dornach as the first act of a real-life communal mystery play entitled the Kardeiz Saga to Review, Recall and Restore the Anthroposophical Society. The historical basis for this play is inspired by this very book by Werner Greub, for in it Kardeiz is shown to be the second son of Parzival who as a youth was already crowned King on Whitsuntide May 13, 848 in Dornach and given the task of regaining the lands and towns (Waleis, Norgals, Kanvoleiz, Kingrivals, Anschouwe and Bealzenan, all situated in present-day Alsace, France) that were taken away from his father by the usurper Lahelin, a task which he, after having been educated by his uncle Willehalm-Kyot, fulfilled admirably. The historic parallels implied by the Kardeiz Saga – a realm of royal art has been usurped and must be liberated and restored to its original state in order to fulfil its mission to advance humanity to a true image or concept of itself – may have by now become apparent; for the details I refer to my foreword to the social-aesthetic study The Principles of The Anthroposophical Society, which forms the more spiritual basis for the Kardeiz Saga. What remains here is to attempt to further substantiate in what sense this Saga can be seen as a modern Grail task and what relevance it has for a post September 11 world situation
For that we call to aid a perspective from Walter Johannes Stein mentioned in the book by the Dutch writer Willem Frederik Veltman Tempel en Graal (Temple and Grail, published by Hesperia in Rotterdam, 1989; not translated). In a chapter The Mystery of Gold on the three historic grades of chivalry, it is developed that the Grail impulse of the 20th century – and no doubt also for the 21st – lies in transforming the driving force of the world economy from egoism to altruism. The first one is the grade of Faith (Peter), the second one of Hope (James), both lying in the past, while the current and future one is the grade of Charity or Love (John). Veltman writes: “This Grade of John can only be realized today and has to do with a world economy based on a truly Christian love. But for the time being, the world economy as a world power is still developing in an opposite direction.”
How this can be considered a Grail task – the harmonisation of two polarities through a middle force – has been shown by Rudolf Steiner in his lectures and seminars on World Economy in Dornach 1924. In the first of these 14 lectures he states that what he is about deliver is the new language, based on a new way of thinking, with which to present social organics, the idea of the threefold nature of the social organism, in the near future and that it is above all necessary to come to an understanding of the concept social organism as consisting of humanity and the earth as a whole, as one. This social organism or environment is – this follows from other works by Rudolf Steiner in concordance with the New Testament – in essence the body of Christ, but He can only properly incarnate into this whole earth, if we as humanity practice and implement Rudolf Steiner’s World Economy by creating the right balance between the production factors of the social organism: nature, labour and capital (spirit). The interaction between these three production factors constitutes the two ways that economic values arise: labour applied to nature bringing about the more earthly value of transubstantiation; spirit (intelligence) applied to labour the more heavenly value of incarnation. The cardinal question here is to bring these two ways of creating economic values into harmony by producers, traders and consumers, united in economic associations spanned across the globe, so that just, fair prices can come about. This radical alternative form of globalisation is the Christian justification for the threefold social order or social organics, and can be seen as a modern Grail task because, again, it is question of creating a just balance between two opposing forces or factors, in this case nature and capital (spirit).
This collective balancing act in the physical, outer world has its individual pendant in the individual realm of human knowledge and action as portrayed in Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. For knowledge is the synthesis of a given percept mediated to us by our senses with the proper, corresponding concept supplied by our own act of thinking, while action, a human deed is the synthesis of motive and driving force.
This Grail task, as symbolized by Wolfram’s coat-of-arms (see plate A) is portrayed in another way by Rudolf Steiner in his wooden sculpture, made with the assistance of among others the English sculptress Edith Maryon, entitled Representative of Humanity. It shows a trinity: a solid and balanced human figure in the middle separating and harmonizing two opposing forces or beings: Ahriman or Satan, the cynical oppressor being held and chained down to the earth and Lucifer or the Devil, the enticer in the heights misleading to a brilliance without soul warmth (see plate B). This 9 metre high structure was meant by Rudolf Steiner to stand in and form the background of all the proceedings in the first Goetheanum, which like the Grail castle Munsalvaesche was a theatre for the staging of Christian mystery plays. It escaped being burned down to the ground when this first Goetheanum, an all wooden structure with two interlocking domes went up in flames during New Year’s eve 1922, but instead of being given this prominence is now stored in the attic of the second Goetheanum, where, far away from the activities on stage in the big hall down below, it can be seen at certain hours – a deviation from the intention of its maker which, it must be said, speaks, even cries out for itself.
By now it may be clear that this Grail motive of a trinity of active neutrality is the major composition principle of Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, justifying its alternative name: science of the Grail. We encounter this principle again in the architectural design of the second Goetheanum, in which two symmetrical sidewalls running north and south connect a polarity of a steep vertical wall to the east with a gently outward sloping wall to the west.
And we see it also in the composition of the statutes (principles) of the newly founded Anthroposophical Society and the corresponding Foundation Stone Mediation, which Rudolf Steiner offered to lay down in the hearts and minds of the nucleus of some 7 to 800 anthroposophists from all over the world who had gathered in Dornach in 1923 during the so-called Christmas Foundation Conference to call this first general (universal) human knowledge-based society on earth further into being. This Anthroposophical Society was, according to its first of 15 statutes (principles), meant to be “a union of people who wish to cultivate the life of soul in the individual as well as in human society on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.”In the process of realizing this universal charter of a society of free spirits – according to Rudolf Steiner the one and only task of the leadership – its members can unite and elevate themselves to a level of awareness of their higher selves where they can receive the representative of humanity in their own ranks and accordingly constitute the new Grail community. Like the statute of the representative of humanity that was to overlook this process, this new Grail community will consist of a strong and solid middle holding Lucifer (extreme ingrowths, sectarianism, dogmatism) as well as Ahriman (power plays, con tricks, party politics) at bay.
These are the living conditions, as laid down in an archetypal fashion in the original statutes of the Anthroposophical Society, under which the Parzival question, asked in concert by a community, can have the healing effect on it that it did on Anfortas that Whitsuntide on May 12, 848 in Arlesheim when, as Wolfram towards the end of his Parzival reports: “He Who for St Sylvester’s sake bade a bull return from death to life and go, and Lazarus stand up, now helped Anfortas to become whole and well again.”To re-enact this real-life communal mystery play, ideally and to begin with on the location of the original Grail sites in Dornach/Arlesheim in , that is the aim of the Kardeiz Saga.
Grail Sites of Royal Art in the Future?
The newly discovered Grails sites will then not only enter the history books as having been found, but founded anew and harbouring a healing impulse for the future. For the resulting world-wide “Union of People” can then become that strong middle force of active neutrality that was mentioned in my initial reaction to the September 11 disaster in order to help make the world “whole and well again.” The history books will then also thankfully note that a violent clash of civilisations has been diverted in the sense that bearers of conflicting worldviews and religions can iron out their divisive differences, problems and obstacles in newly constituted Olympic Games of The Spirit with the participants competing for the best ideas toward the solutions of the problems facing mankind and the earth.Finally, the writing of history books will remain necessary, for history – contrary to what has been claimed – will not have come to an end, for want of any alternative to the present liberal, capitalist based democracies, since the demise of communism. For an all-embracing worldview, a reunion of art, science and religion is waiting in the wings to make its long over-due appearance; it is called anthroposophy, science of the Grail, its social component is social organics. A new Royal art can lead the way.
Robert J. Kelder,
My thanks go to Richard Roe from and Ghent (NY) for his help in scrutinizing this text for spelling and other writing errors. This final version has been revised somewhat and typed up in solitude in the Willehalm Institute Library in . It was not possible to have this final version proofread by a third party. Even though great care has been taken to avoid textual errors, it may thus be possible that such errors have been overlooked. We apologise beforehand for this eventuality and welcome any suggestions for improvement. See appendix 7 for address and E-mail.
Next to this present volume, two new editions of translations of works by Herbert Witzenmann, already referred to in the first introduction, were presented: The Just Price – World Economy as Social Organics and The Principles of the Anthroposophical Society with a Foreword Introducing the Kardeiz Saga to Recall the Anthroposophical Society. Both of them included extensive introductions on which the following remarks in connection with the September 11 disaster are partly based and which need to be consulted by those who want to pursue the matter further. Here only a broad outline can be given.