2023 Grail Conference

Photo of Goetheanum in May 


A Summary of the Section Meeting held on June 17, 2023.


“When indecision’s in the heart
The soul is bound to grieve and smart!
Scorned but also well adored
Is he whose soul and heart are torn
`Twixt light and dark, and neither true,
Like magpies in their checkered hue.
Yet such a one may well rejoice
At journey’s end to have this choice:
He knows both heaven and hell.”

— Wolfram von Eschenbach / Parzival

(trans. Bruce Donehower)


At the meeting of the Section of the Literary Arts and Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science that occurred on June 17, 2023, Marion and I gave an hour-long detailed report of events happening at the Grail Conference in Dornach in May 2023. This event occurred at the same time as “The Meeting” in Spring Valley, which Clifford Venho reported to us at our June 7 meeting. I did not make a recording of the June 7 meeting, but click this sentence for a report written by Sherry Wildfeuer.

At our Section meeting on June 17:

I summarized the program contents of the International Grail Conference at Dornach that occurred at Pentecost.

I tried to paint a lively verbal picture of the excitement that gripped the participants during the splendid eurythmy performance “Wegspuren” and during the three outstanding musical events: Emmanuel Vukovich’s Parzival Project (performed to a full and enthusiastic audience in the Carpentry Hall) and Emmanuel’s performance of the Bach violin sonatas and partitas.

I summarized briefly the main points of my lecture in the Great Hall, given in German with the title Souveräne des Grals. I’ll try to make an English translation of this lecture available at some future date. The German text of the lecture will appear in the Winter/Spring issue of the magazine Stil.

I showed a series of photos taken during the event in order to enliven the presentation.

Marion gave a report on her experiences at the Clinic in Arlesheim, and she shared her impressions of the Conference and of Arlesheim and Dornach and Basel.

I discussed the adventure of making a video of poetry contributed by Section Poets. I’ll premiere this 25-minute poetry performance video at our meeting on July 8. We didn’t have time on June 17 to watch the video.

I discussed the meetings I had with Virginia Sease and Christiane Haid.

I discussed the surprising encounter I had with Percy MacKaye and Albert Steffen — and I explained how this unexpected encounter and reminder of the spiritual friendship between these two poets has re-enlivened our Section’s interest in Percy MacKaye and the MacKaye extended family . . . and of course our ongoing interest in William Shakespeare . . . since Percy MacKaye (and his father Steele MacKaye) are closely connected to Shakespeare, and especially to the play Hamlet. To review how our Section has worked with Percy MacKaye in previous meetings, click this sentence. I’m at work on a video that will present this adventure with the two poet-friends, Percy and Albert; and it will be ready this summer.


These are only a few items touched upon in our meeting. I did not make a recording. When we meet on July 8 for our Poetry Night, I’ll share more details. And after the July 8 meeting, I will post the video of the poetry performance reading on this page and elsewhere.