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Spiritual Resistance

Ita Wegman, 1933-1935

Peter Selg
Translated by Matthew Barton
Paperback
April 2014
9781621480655
More details
  • Publisher
    SteinerBooks
  • Published
    17th April 2014
  • ISBN 9781621480655
  • Language English
  • Pages 290 pp.
  • Size 5.5" x 8.5"
$30.00

From 1933 to 1935, Ita Wegman was confronted by both Nazi fascism and internal crises in the General Anthroposophical Society. During those years, she traveled to Palestine in the fall of 1934 following a grave illness that nearly ended with her death. Her correspondence during this period, as well as her notes on the trip, reveal the great biographical importance to her of these travels and indeed the whole scope of her spiritual experiences in 1934.

Ita Wegman had unambiguous perspectives and a uniquely clear view of both the political threat and her social-spiritual task during this period. There was, however, a radical change in her inner stance toward the opposition, aggression, and defamation she encountered within anthroposophic contexts in reaction to her intense, purely motivated efforts. She tried to live and work in true accord with her inner impulses and, ultimately, with Rudolf Steiner’s legacy, especially within the anthroposophic movement. Doing so, she increasingly found her way to her own distinctive and uncompromising path.

The author reveals the general nature of those three years—a period whose distinctive spiritual and Christological task and dramatic dangers Rudolf Steiner had foreseen in 1923: “If these men [the Nazis] gain government power, I will no longer be able to set foot on German soil.” Ita Wegman’s efforts in 1933 to confront the dark powers of National Socialism and the convulsions in Dornach, which she experienced firsthand, as well as her subsequent illness and the clarity of her “Christological conversion” in 1934 to ’35, reveal a very specific, intrinsically comprehensible and forward-looking quality whose spiritual signature is clearly prefigured in Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual-scientific predictions.

In this book, Peter Selg focuses exclusively on Ita Wegman, her development, and her words, simply presenting the processes she went through and, implicitly, their extraordinary spiritual nature, without any attempt at interpretation. This focus arises from the governing premise that the mysteries of a great life such as that of Ita Wegman reveal themselves in the details. Tracing the subtle steps in her life allow us deeper insight into Ita Wegman’s being. She herself wrote, “In general meetings or gatherings, people always understood me poorly because I lacked a smooth way of expressing myself. But people of goodwill always understood what I meant.”

This book was originally published in German as Geistiger Widerstand und Überwindung. Ita Wegman 1933–1935 by Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, 2005.

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword

1. “In Feverish Haste,” 1933
2. “A Year of Reflection and Inner Work”: Illness and Palestine, 1934
3. “Willing, Selfless Sacrifice,” 1935

Epilogue: A Letter from Ita Wegman to Maria Roeschl

Peter Selg

Born 1963, Stuttgart.

1986–1993 Study of human medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke, in Berlin and Zurich. Doctoral thesis: "Attempt to systematize Rudolf Steiner's human physiological ideas. An analysis of the entire lecture and written work (Witten/Herdecke 1995).

1993–2000 Further training as a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy. Senior physician in the psychiatric department for adolescents and young adults at the Herdecke Community Hospital.

2000–2002 Research associate at the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology (Freiburg).

2002–2006 Head physician at the Ita Wegman Clinic Arlesheim (adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy); since 2006 establishment and management of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Anthroposophical Research

Since 2007 professorship for medical anthropology and ethics at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Alfter near Bonn); teaching in the Studium fundamentale and in the accompanying studies in anthroposophic medicine at the University/Witten-Herdecke

Since 2020, Co-leader of the General Anthroposophical Section of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland