Christopher passed away at his Mt. Washington, Massachusetts home on May 13 at 2:10 a.m.
“Dying touches us all deeply. We all die and so, in our ordinary lives, in the midst of the joys and sorrows we experience, in our work and play, the relations we form, and the children we have, we are continually accompanied—if not consciously then unconsciously—by our own mortality. We are reminded of this daily by loved ones we lose, friends and acquaintances who die, as well as by the myriad anonymous deaths that fill the newspapers, films, and television....
“Truly, there is a great life. Life is boundless; it is greater than our wildest dreams. And we are part of it—forever. What a puny notion it is to believe that meaning and love in the universe are restricted to what we can achieve with our brain and brawn during the few brief years allotted each lifetime on earth!
On the contrary, life goes on, life continues, life is endless. We live it now. We live it every moment. This means that all life is always here, now, and that the dead, as well as the unborn—and the hierarchies of angels and Jesus Christ and Mary and all the divine beings—are always with us, seeking our participation and help in the ongoing work of God in the universe.”
Our book reviews are arranged many weeks in advance. I had no way of knowing that current events in Europe would make the review of Educating Traumatized Children all the more relevant.
Teachers and parents will both sense the relevance of this book in the modern educational landscape. Trauma, much as we might hope to relegate it to the purview of special educators and therapists, has become a daily facet of life.
Gone are the days when only one or two children in a class were in need of "special help".
Bernd Ruf found his calling at the time of the 2006 Lebanon War. Since then he has facilitated the development of "Emergency Education". He and teams of teachers, doctors, psychologists, and therapists have taken part in crisis interventions around the world. They work with psychologically traumatized children and young people in war zones and disaster areas.
Bernd Ruf presents an anthroposophical understanding of trauma itself. There is a an extensive examination of psychological trauma and healing the frozenness of trauma. The book contains many vignettes of their trauma work and concludes with emergency education as threshold education.
Although the book is written primarily out of the experience of emergency educators in trauma situations, I would imagine that many classroom teachers and parents would find much they recognize in their "normal" world.
Mercury Press, an initiative of the Rudolf Steiner Fellowship Community in Spring Valley, New York, has been publishing interesting, unique, and useful books and pamphlets for more than fifty years. They include resources for teachers, children’s books, books on anthroposophic medicine, original translations of Rudolf Steiner's works, biographies, and much more.
As of December 15, 2021, Mercury ceased its mail-order operations and no longer publishes books. However, the fruits of this publishing initiative are not lost. Many of the titles published by Mercury are now or will soon be available through SteinerBooks as of 2022.