Anthroposophy NYC Blog


Harmonious Movement Enlivens the Healthy Life Forces

Author: Marta Stemberger

Eurythmy is the breathing, alive space among people; it’s the flow of energy as we move along, towards, through, past each other. Not just “dancing with” as in folk dance, or “dancing at” as in ballet, but consciously cultivating the aliveness among the movers, between the movers and observers. Time and space are crafted into a magical opening where we can all glimpse our own true dreams, the dreams that we were born with, the path of humaneness that awaits our discovery.

Is humanity ready for eurythmy? For refreshing doses of harmonious movement? At this point of cosmic evolution of humanity, eurythmy is the yeast, needed to awaken and enliven the so-called “etheric” forces in and around the human body. If we fail to do this, the physicality, the deadening effects of lower thinking (materialistic intellectualism), and animalistic lust will destroy the human race. We see this happening right now.

The killing and exploitation of plant kingdom is the outer manifestation of the dwindling etheric forces, the forces of life, found in nature, and especially strong in plants. Sleeping and breathing disorders are a direct consequence. When the etheric forces weaken in the human energy field, we are tired, devoid of inner spark, or cannot relax to fall asleep. The energy is misdirected and is killing us from within: depression, cancer, HIV, and the list goes on. Allergies, for example, are coming out of the inability to connect with plants via the shared etheric field because the human etheric body is becoming thin and is bound too tightly to the physical body where it cannot move freely, and it becomes stuck and destructive.

The solution? Slow down and commune with nature, engage in exercises that awaken, enliven, enrich the etheric forces. The etheric field gives life to the human body; the Soul gives life to the human beings. Without these two elements, we cease being human. The etheric heart is born when the human etheric body and the human Soul merge. Without the etheric heart, the human race is lost. The highest potential of the humanity is now accessible to all of us in the etheric field of the Earth. The benevolent forces of Light, Love, Life are ready to help us keep the human etheric and soul forces alive, to manifest the etheric human heart, the breathing energy connecting us all through love and compassion. Heart diseases arise out of our inability to connect through our etheric hearts.

Eurythmy as the art of balanced, integrated, harmonious movement is essential for this next phase in human evolution. All spiritual activities need to include at least a little bit of conscious harmonious movement. As human beings, we all do some basic eurythmy unconsciously all the time: we breathe, walk, stand upright. But we need to begin cultivating harmonious movement consciously on a regular basis. Ideally, every lecture, gathering, ritual, would begin with some simple eurythmy movement in a circle to enliven the flow of energy within and around people, to create healthy breathing environment for the event.

There are other integrative movement practices that can prepare the way, such as yoga and tai chi, among others. But then it’s time for eurythmy, the art of harmonious movement, otherwise the effects of other practices may turn on themselves, and undermine the benefits.

People are yearning, and some are ready for connection with others in a deeper and higher sense through harmonious flow. In eurythmy, one needs to be aware of the center in the Soul and periphery in the Spirit, of the self and the people around you. We need to be open to the idea that we are more than just physical bodies. We have life energy surrounding us. We are connected to the highest spiritual world through our uprightness, our I AM.

The faster our life pace is, the more physical we become. Think of mineral deposits in our veins, caused by stress and hectic lifestyle. The fast past-future oriented pace causes calcification of the Soul and the Spirit, and thus suffering. We need to slow down to soften ourselves, make our bodies more pliable, our mind more peaceful. As Dr. Carla Hannaford describes in her books Smart Moves and Playing in the Unified Field, we need the flow of oxytocin (produced in gentle human contact, such as breast feeding and hugging) and dopamine (produced in meditation) for our mind to open (the frontal lobe of our brain in particular). We need to exit the old reptilian brain of fight or flight, and expand the frontal lobe, the uniquely human part of the brain, which allows higher level thinking that embraces creative activities and global community awareness, leading to deeds of compassion and cooperation among people.

Living in the Soul and the Spirit has no past or future, just the present. The flow of the etheric forces is fully present in the now, forming celestial colors and sounds within each human being’s energy field, each with its own unique identity in harmony with the cosmic forces of Light, Love, Life, the Source of creation and existence. The so-called “picture thinking”—healthy imagination—is a frontal lobe activity, which distinguishes us from other mammals.

Eurythmy enters the human process at this deep level, and nourishes our need for accessing spiritual imagery. The underlining principle is that notes in music and words in poetry are seeds that become alive when played or spoken, and create images in our minds. The quality of these images depends on the quality and level of our thinking. Rudimentary reasoning, including materialistic logical thinking, is not alive. We need to cultivate picture thinking, which include reason and logic, but on a higher cognitive level. As shown by neurological research, the capacity to create images in our mind is essential for human learning and well-being.

Eurythmy is an integrated harmonious movement system that makes the pictures we form in our mind visible: sounds of speech, tones in music, colors, gestures for soul moods, principles to move in space. Eurythmy offers a set of tools for transforming the inner activity and spiritual exploration into conscious harmonious movement. Thus movement, created in eurythmy, includes all aspects of our humanness.

In eurythmy, one sculpts the space, the air, the energy around oneself to make speech visible; one expands the sphere around oneself within which music becomes visible. Words, thoughts, music, images, made visible through harmonious movement, lighten people’s burdens, lift their hearts, reawaken their Souls.

Eurythmy—performance art, pedagogical tool, movement therapy, social art, spiritual practice—created at the beginning of the 20th century by Rudolf Steiner, is now emerging from obscurity at this poignant moment in human evolution.

Experience eurythmy by yourself, at home.
Practice easy, yet effective, harmonious movement exercise, called I-A-O (pronounced “ee-ah-oh”).
Click here to access the written and audio guided meditation for free.

Harmonious Re-Connection with Your Highest Self through the Infinite Light of ‘IAO

Where does the feeling of being afraid to be hurt come from? Is it because we are all still too much enmeshed in the lower sense of the self? This lower ego needs to feel validated by external forces: money, success, other people’s approval. Its sense of worthiness and happiness depends on what is outside. Hence, the fear of lack and rejection. Because if others, if the world withholds the awards and approvals, the lower ego feels pain, is hurt.

But if instead one is fully connected with and centered in the highest spiritual self or healthy ego, then the external forces have no influence because they cannot affect what is of Light and Love. External forces can only affect what is of matter and lower energy vibrations: physical body, lower levels of life flow, emotions.

As a spiritual being in an earthly sheath, I am only accountable to my Highest Self, and not to anyone else. Many of us have a sense of unity with our spiritual origins, but the pull of the forces that separate is extremely strong. We need constant reminders and encouragement to keep re-connecting with our Highest Self. We need simple and pure daily practices. Nothing too verbose or intellectual. (Common thinking belongs to the lower ego.) We need exercises that tune us to our highest aspects of existence in pure intuitive way.

Harmonious movement art of eurythmy gently cultivates the spaces between and among people so that we can raise ourselves to the next level of peaceful coexistence. While the social eurythmy exercises are strongest when done with a group in a circle, we also benefit from doing exercises on our own.

You can start by a regular practice of connecting with your Highest Self: Stand in your individual column of Light, and move gently to the spoken sounds of I-A-O (pronounced “ee-ah-oh”). The I-A-O movement meditation is the first eurythmy exercise, given by Rudolf Steiner to Lory Maier-Smits in September of 1912 in Munich, Germany. From Hawaiian shamanism, we learn that ‘IAO is the sacred name for the Infinite Light, the Light of the World. The ancient Gnostic text Pistis Sophia informs us that the resurrected Christ and his disciples used the invocation I-A-O to call upon the boundless Light of the Universe.

Humans are a hybrid of animals and angels. Our work is to ascend into the realms of angels while in the physical bodies. The pull of density is strong, marked by rapids of particles, moving faster and faster, which is reflected in our ever accelerating contemporary life styles, encouraged by technology, and greed.

Animals are bound to Earth; angels float in the Air. Plants are connecting the depths and heights vertically. Human beings embody all these aspects, but add the horizontal flow of water. We carry the cross of spirit and matter in us, enlivened by the soulful circle of radiant flowers in our hearts.

Tune into the wisdom of your Soul.
Re-Connect with Your Highest Self.
Claim your true essence.

Practice easy, yet effective, harmonious movement exercise I-A-O.
Click here to access the written and audio guided meditation for free.

Marta Stemberger is currently the Secretary of the Council of New York City Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America. She is a eurythmist, harmonious movement teacher, mindful translator, spiritual researcher. She was trained at Eurythmy Spring Valley, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and Martha Graham Dance Center; holds BA in Liberal Arts and MA in Liberal Studies, both from New School U. Marta has taught movement, performed, and lectured in Europe and the US since 1989.

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